Jul 16, 2016

Recumbence Behavior in Zoo Elephants: Determination of Patterns and Frequency of Recumbent Rest and Associated Environmental and Social Factors

PloS One
Matthew R HoldgateDavid J Shepherdson

Abstract

Resting behaviors are an essential component of animal welfare but have received little attention in zoological research. African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) and Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) rest includes recumbent postures, but no large-scale investigation of African and Asian zoo elephant recumbence has been previously conducted. We used anklets equipped with accelerometers to measure recumbence in 72 adult female African (n = 44) and Asian (n = 28) elephants housed in 40 North American zoos. We collected 344 days of data and determined associations between recumbence and social, housing, management, and demographic factors. African elephants were recumbent less (2.1 hours/day, S.D. = 1.1) than Asian elephants (3.2 hours/day, S.D. = 1.5; P < 0.001). Nearly one-third of elephants were non-recumbent on at least one night, suggesting this is a common behavior. Multi-variable regression models for each species showed that substrate, space, and social variables had the strongest associations with recumbence. In the African model, elephants who spent any amount of time housed on all-hard substrate were recumbent 0.6 hours less per day than those who were never on all-hard substrate, and elephants who experienced an ad...Continue Reading

  • References37
  • Citations15

Mentioned in this Paper

Behavior, Animal
Patterns
Research
Determination Aspects
Bos taurus
Anatomical Space Structure
Harassment, Non-Sexual
Loxodonta
Accelerometers
Animal Husbandry

Related Feeds

Antifungals

An antifungal, also known as an antimycotic medication, is a pharmaceutical fungicide or fungistatic used to treat and prevent mycosis such as athlete's foot, ringworm, candidiasis, cryptococcal meningitis, and others. Discover the latest research on antifungals here.

Antifungals (ASM)

An antifungal, also known as an antimycotic medication, is a pharmaceutical fungicide or fungistatic used to treat and prevent mycosis such as athlete's foot, ringworm, candidiasis, cryptococcal meningitis, and others. Discover the latest research on antifungals here.