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A case study: faecal corticosteroid and behaviour as indicators of welfare during relocation of an Asian elephant

Laws, N, Ganswindt, A, Heistermann, M, Harris, M.J., Harris, S and Sherwin, C (2007) A case study: faecal corticosteroid and behaviour as indicators of welfare during relocation of an Asian elephant. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 10 (4). pp. 349-358.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/10888700701555600

Abstract

This study was a preliminary investigation of an enzyme immunoassay for measuring fecal glucocorticoid metabolites in a male Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) by investigating changes in behavior and cortisol metabolite excretion associated with a putative stressful event. The study collected fecal samples for 10 days prior to, and 10 days after, 24-hr transport and relocation of the elephant to a new herd. The study measured cortisol metabolites using 2 enzyme immunoassays indicating a 389% and 340% increase in cortisol metabolite excretion following relocation. Maximal cortisol metabolite excretion occurred 2 days after relocation and remained elevated during establishment of the new herd. Stereotypic behavior increased approximately 400% after relocation. The relocation disturbed sleep patterns, the elephant spent less time sleeping during the night, and the elephant slept standing up. These results provide preliminary evidence that noninvasive monitoring of fecal cortisol metabolites can be used to investigate adrenal activity in Asian elephants and may be a safe, practical, and accurate welfare indicator.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Animal Production, Welfare and Veterinary Sciences
Depositing User: Mr Darren Roberts
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2018 16:25
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2018 16:25
URI: http://hau.collections.crest.ac.uk/id/eprint/16297

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