Elevated glucocorticoid levels during an extended time period might be a stress indicator in nonhuman animals. Therefore, knowledge of the circadian pattern of cortisol secretion is very important to correctly interpret data obtained for welfare assessment of animals in captivity through salivary cortisol. In order to define the circadian rhythm of salivary cortisol secretion in the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), morning and evening saliva samples of 3 Asian elephants were collected and analyzed by radioimmunoassay. Significantly higher salivary cortisol concentrations were found in the morning than in the evening in all individuals. These results show that salivary cortisol of Asian elephants follows a diurnal pattern of secretion, which could be taken into account when using this methodology to assess welfare in captive Asian elephants.
|Publication Title||Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Author Address||Terra Natura Biological Station, University Research Institute CIBIO, University of Alicante, Campus San Vicente del Raspeig, Edificio Ciencias III, E-03080 Alicante, Spain.firstname.lastname@example.org|
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