+ Site Statistics
References:
54,258,434
Abstracts:
29,560,870
PMIDs:
28,072,757
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

The Days and Nights of Zoo Elephants: Using Epidemiology to Better Understand Stereotypic Behavior of African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) and Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) in North American Zoos



The Days and Nights of Zoo Elephants: Using Epidemiology to Better Understand Stereotypic Behavior of African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) and Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) in North American Zoos



Plos One 11(7): E0144276-E0144276



Stereotypic behavior is an important indicator of compromised welfare. Zoo elephants are documented to perform stereotypic behavior, but the factors that contribute to performance have not been systematically assessed. We collected behavioral data on 89 elephants (47 African [Loxodonta africana], 42 Asian [Elephas maximus]) at 39 North American zoos during the summer and winter. Elephants were videoed for a median of 12 daytime hours per season. A subset of 32 elephants (19 African, 13 Asian) was also observed live for a median of 10.5 nighttime hours. Percentages of visible behavior scans were calculated from five minute instantaneous samples. Stereotypic behavior was the second most commonly performed behavior (after feeding), making up 15.5% of observations during the daytime and 24.8% at nighttime. Negative binomial regression models fitted with generalized estimating equations were used to determine which social, housing, management, life history, and demographic variables were associated with daytime and nighttime stereotypic behavior rates. Species was a significant risk factor in both models, with Asian elephants at greater risk (daytime: p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 4.087; nighttime: p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 8.015). For both species, spending time housed separately (p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 1.009), and having experienced inter-zoo transfers (p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 1.175), increased the risk of performing higher rates of stereotypy during the day, while spending more time with juvenile elephants (p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 0.985), and engaging with zoo staff reduced this risk (p = 0.018, Risk Ratio = 0.988). At night, spending more time in environments with both indoor and outdoor areas (p = 0.013, Risk Ratio = 0.987) and in larger social groups (p = 0.039, Risk Ratio = 0.752) corresponded with reduced risk of performing higher rates of stereotypy, while having experienced inter-zoo transfers (p = 0.033, Risk Ratio = 1.115) increased this risk. Overall, our results indicate that factors related to the social environment are most influential in predicting elephant stereotypic behavior rates.

Please choose payment method:






(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 058998577

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 27416071

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144276


Related references

Housing and Demographic Risk Factors Impacting Foot and Musculoskeletal Health in African Elephants [Loxodonta africana] and Asian Elephants [Elephas maximus] in North American Zoos. Plos One 11(7): E0155223-E0155223, 2016

Housing and Social Environments of African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) Elephants in North American Zoos. Plos One 11(7): E0146703-E0146703, 2016

Evaluation of Demographics and Social Life Events of Asian (Elephas maximus) and African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) in North American Zoos. Plos One 11(7): E0154750-E0154750, 2016

Results of the third reproductive assessment survey of North American Asian (Elephas maximus) and African (Loxodonta africana) female elephants. Zoo Biology 30(6): 699-711, 2012

Assessment of Body Condition in African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) Elephants in North American Zoos and Management Practices Associated with High Body Condition Scores. Plos One 11(7): E0155146-E0155146, 2016

Reproduction in elephants (Elephas maximus and Loxodonta africana) under special emphasis on estrus diagnosis in Indian elephants (Elephas Maximus) in European captivity. 1978

Reproductive Health Assessment of Female Elephants in North American Zoos and Association of Husbandry Practices with Reproductive Dysfunction in African Elephants (Loxodonta africana). Plos One 11(7): E0145673-E0145673, 2016

Chromosomes of three elephants, two Asian (Elephas maximus) and one African (Loxodonta africana). Cytogenetics 5(3): 243-246, 1966

Feeding Asian and African elephants Elephas maximus and Loxodonta africana in captivity. International Zoo Yearbook 40: 88-95, 2006

Lymphoid follicular vulvitis in African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 26(3): 353-358, 1995

Chemical signals in the reproduction of Asian (Elephas maximus) and African (Loxodonta africana) elephants. Animal Reproduction Science 53(1-4): 19-34, 1998

Pharmacokinetics of orally administered phenylbutazone in African and Asian elephants (Loxodonta africana and Elephas maximus). Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 39(2): 188-200, 2008

Pharmacokinetics of orally administered ibuprofen in African and Asian elephants (Loxodonta africana and Elephas maximus). Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 38(2): 258-268, 2007

Pharmacokinetics of Orally Administered Ibuprofen in African and Asian Elephants (Loxodonta africana and Elephas maximus). Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 38(2): 258-268, 2007

Evaluation of progesterone and 20-oxo-progestagens in the plasma of Asian (Elephas maximus) and African (Loxodonta africana) elephants. Zoo Biology 16(5): 403-413, 1997