Archive

Original research (Published On: 30-Dec-2019)

Evaluation of heart rates to measure emotionality and “stress” in semi-domestic african elephants engaged in activities with humans

Marthe Kiley-Worthington and Araceli Olivares

J. Vet. Res. Adv., 01 (01):62-79

Marthe Kiley-Worthington: Centre of Eco-Etho Research & Education, Oare, UK

Araceli Olivares: ZEWACT

Download PDF Here

Article History: Received on: 06-Dec-19, Accepted on: 26-Dec-19, Published on: 30-Dec-19

Corresponding Author: Marthe Kiley-Worthington

Email: marthekileyworthington@gmail.com

Citation: Olivares A, Kiley-Worthington M and Rendle-Worthington J (2019). Evaluation of heart rates to measure emotionality and “stress” in semi-domestic african elephants engaged in activities with humans. J. Vet. Res. Adv., 01 (01):62-79


Abstract

Aim: The study was aimed to find out any physical or mental suffering during the training and riding of a group of semi-captive elephants (Loxodonta africana).

Method and Materials: The behavior of four of these elephants was monitored for evidence of behavioral distress (e.g. the occurrence of stereotypies or increase in aggression). We also obtained novel data on the heart rates of these elephants during typical daily activities, such as being cooperatively taught and handled, interacting with tourists and being asked to lie down.

Results: The heart rate recordings provided no evidence that any of these activities caused “stress” to the elephants. When ridden with and without tourists, heart rates increased as a result of walking exercise but at no time did heart rates reach higher levels than expected to meet these metabolic demands. The afternoon resting heart rates were also significantly higher that may reflect a rise in core temperature.

Conclusion: Elephants can be handled, taught, ridden and interact with tourists without causing them suffering or distress. It is HOW these things are done not IF they are done which matters. The development of welfare and conservation standards for all aspects of elephants’ lives in any form of captivity or sanctuary is crucial if elephants are to survive and have a life of quality in the future.


Statistics

Article View: 1082
PDF Downloaded: 19