A World Without Elephants | Brad Spanbauer | TEDxOshkosh
Contributor(s):: Brad Spanbauer
In the year 2026, countries across Africa are reporting ecosystem collapse, record temperatures, reduced rainfall, and dwindling animal populations. At the center of this chaos is a void that was once filled by the African elephant. Spanbauer highlights the potential far-reaching impacts of a...
Captive Elephants in Circuses
Contributor(s):: Varma Varma, S.R. Sujata, Suparna Ganguly, Shiela Rao
Circuses have a long history of using performing animals, both wild and domesticated. The animals are trained or conditioned to exhibit specific behaviours with no option to do otherwise. This report is based on the observation of 31 elephants belonging to a sample of seven circuses (out of 15...
How should the psychological welfare of zoo elephants be investigated?
Contributor(s):: G.J. Mason, J. Veasey
The welfare of elephants is an enormous challenge for zoos in terms of animal husbandry, financial cost and public perception. This chapter’s aim is not to discuss whether elephants should be held in captivity: resolving this issue would involve sound data on the costs and...
Prevalence of stereotypies and its possible causes among captive Asian elephants ( Elephas maximus) in Tamil Nadu, India
Contributor(s):: Vanitha, Varadharajan, Thiyagesan, Krishnamoorthy, Baskaran, Nagarajan
Animals in captivity are often confined in small barren enclosures, preventing adequate exercise, and socialization with conspecifics. Captivity is also known for depriving young individuals' association with maternal relatives by weaning away from their mothers' earlier than what their peers...
Room to Roam: Using GPS to Determine the Effect of Exhibit Size and Herd Size on Zoo Elephant Movement
Contributor(s):: Matthew Holdgate, Deborah A. Duffield, David J. Shepherdson
Asian and African elephants (Elephas maximus and Loxodonta spp.) are particularly susceptible to welfare concerns in zoological institutions due to their high intelligence, complex social structures, and sheer size. Zoo elephants are also limited by the space available to them, and the resulting...
GPS technology as a proxy tool for determining relationships in social animals: an example with African elephants
Contributor(s):: Hacker, C. E., Horback, K. M., Miller, L. J.
The potential application of GPS technology in determining relationships among social animals was addressed in this study of eight African elephants residing at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido, CA, USA between 2009 and 2011. GPS coordinates were collected over nine 24 h periods from...
Contributor(s):: Vacha, John
Some preliminary evidence of the social facilitation of mounting behavior in a juvenile bull Asian elephant ( Elephas maximus )
Contributor(s):: Rees, P. A.
This study recorded sexual behaviour within a captive herd of 8 Asian elephants in England, UK, for approximately 230 h on 50 days over a period of 10 months (January-November 1999). A single adult and a single juvenile bull mounting cows more than 160 times were observed. When the juvenile bull...
Stereotypic behaviour of a female Asiatic elephant ( Elephas maximus ) in a zoo
Contributor(s):: Elzanowski, A., Sergiel, A.
This study recorded daytime behaviour of a female Asiatic elephant at the Municipal Zoo, Wroclaw, Poland, in both an indoor pen and an outdoor paddock as continuous scan sampling for 140 hr, over 35 days in 1 year. Stereotypic sequences involved bouts of highly repetitive stereotypic movements...
The sizes of elephant groups in zoos: implications for elephant welfare
This study examined the distribution of 495 Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and 336 African elephants (Loxodonta africana) in 194 zoos, most of which were located in Europe (49.1
A survey of foot problems, stereotypic behaviour and floor type in Asian elephants ( Elephas maximus) in European zoos
Contributor(s):: Haspeslagh, M., Stevens, J., Groot, E. de, Dewulf, J., Kalmar, I. D., Moons, C.
Validating methods to determine walking rates of elephants within a zoological institution
Contributor(s):: Miller, L. J., Andrews, J., Anderson, M.
Behavior of picketed circus elephants
Contributor(s):: Friend, T. H.
The behaviour of 14 female Asian (Elephas maximus) and 3 female African (Loxodonta africana) elephants who performed 2 shows each day with a circus that travelled to a new location (40 to 250 km from the previous day's lot) daily, was studied. When not performing or working, the elephants were...
A survey of elephant husbandry and foot health in North American zoos. (Special Issue: The care and welfare of elephants in AZA institutions.)
Contributor(s):: Lewis, K. D., Shepherdson, D. J., Owens, T. M., Keele, M.
The foot health of elephants in human care is a longstanding concern. In 2001, the AZA Standards for Elephant Management and Care were published recommending husbandry to improve foot health. This article reports the results of a 2006 survey: basic statistics describing facility, husbandry, and...
Behavior of female African elephants (Loxodonta africana) in captivity
Contributor(s):: Adams, J., Berg, J. K.
Food hiding and enrichment in captive Asian elephants
Contributor(s):: Wiedenmayer, C.
Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) kept in zoos usually spend less time foraging than their wild conspecifics. In order to increase foraging in a group of 5 captive Asian elephants, peanuts were hidden above a distinctive outdoor enclosure structure, the stone border. It was expected that the...
Honest signalling through chemicals by elephants with applications for care and conservation. (Special Issue: Conservation, enrichment and animal behavior.)
Contributor(s):: Schulte, B. A., Freeman, E. W., Goodwin, T. E., Hollister-Smith, J., Rasmussen, L. E. L.
Chemical signals are difficult to fake because they are often directly associated with phenotype and physiological condition, and hence likely to be honest signals for intraspecific communication. Chemical signals may be modified after release by the sender or by the environment. The proximate...
Are wild animals suited to a travelling circus life?
Contributor(s):: Iossa, G., Soulsbury, C. D., Harris, S.
A comprehensive synopsis of the welfare of captive, wild (ie non-domesticated) animals in travelling circuses is missing. We examined circus animal welfare and, specifically, behaviour, health, living and travelling conditions. We compared the conditions of non-domesticated animals in circuses...
Fecundity and population viability in female zoo elephants: problems and possible solutions
Contributor(s):: Clubb, R., Rowcliffe, M., Lee, P., Mar, K. U., Moss, C., Mason, G. J.
We previously reported that African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) female elephants in European zoos have shorter adult lifespans than protected conspecifics in range countries. This effect was the cause of greatest concern in Asian elephants, and risk factors within this...