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Feeding Asian and African elephants Elephas maximus and Loxodonta africana in captivity


Hatt, J M; Clauss, Marcus (2006). Feeding Asian and African elephants Elephas maximus and Loxodonta africana in captivity. International Zoo Yearbook, 40(1):88-95.

Abstract

Considering the low rate of reproduction in Asian elephants Elephas maximus and African elephants Loxodonta africana in captivity, and the critical status of the size of the captive population, nutrition plays an important role in the captive management of elephants. This paper highlights two major reviews of the subject but emphasizes those aspects of the feeding regime that seem of particular importance and practical relevance. Obesity and colic are of major concern and offering good-quality hay as a staple diet item over an extended period of the day is the most important recognized prophylactic measure against these conditions. Fruits, cereals, bread or pelleted feeds are not recommended owing to their high financial cost and contribution to obesity, respectively. The use of pelleted compound feeds may only be warranted to address mineral or vitamin deficiencies in the hay supplied to elephants.

Considering the low rate of reproduction in Asian elephants Elephas maximus and African elephants Loxodonta africana in captivity, and the critical status of the size of the captive population, nutrition plays an important role in the captive management of elephants. This paper highlights two major reviews of the subject but emphasizes those aspects of the feeding regime that seem of particular importance and practical relevance. Obesity and colic are of major concern and offering good-quality hay as a staple diet item over an extended period of the day is the most important recognized prophylactic measure against these conditions. Fruits, cereals, bread or pelleted feeds are not recommended owing to their high financial cost and contribution to obesity, respectively. The use of pelleted compound feeds may only be warranted to address mineral or vitamin deficiencies in the hay supplied to elephants.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Date:2006
Deposited On:01 Sep 2008 13:32
Last Modified:07 Sep 2016 08:42
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0074-9664
Additional Information:The attached file is a preprint (accepted version) of an article published in International Zoo Yearbook:2006, 40(1), 88-95.
Publisher DOI:10.1111/j.1748-1090.2006.00088.x
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-3428

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