Valencia de Alcántara, Spain
Valencia de Alcántara, Spain

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Illera J.-C.,Complutense University of Madrid | Silvan G.,Complutense University of Madrid | Caceres S.,Complutense University of Madrid | Carbonell M.-D.,Bioparc Valencia | And 4 more authors.
Zoo Biology | Year: 2014

Monitoring ovarian cycles through hormonal analysis is important in order to improve breeding management of captive elephants, and non-invasive collection techniques are particularly interesting for this purpose. However, there are some practical difficulties in collecting proper samples, and easier and more practical methods may be an advantage for some institutions and/or some animals. This study describes the development and validation of an enzymeimmunoassay (EIA) for progestins in salivary samples of African elephants, Loxodonta africana. Weekly urinary and salivary samples from five non-pregnant elephant cows aged 7-12 years were obtained for 28 weeks and analyzed using EIA. Both techniques correlated positively (r=0.799; P<0.001), and the cycle characteristics obtained were identical. The results clearly show that ovarian cycles can be monitored by measuring progestins from salivary samples in the African elephant. This is a simple and non-invasive method that may be a practical alternative to other sampling methods used in the species. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Casares M.,Bioparc Valencia | Silvan G.,Complutense University of Madrid | Carbonell M.D.,Bioparc Valencia | Gerique C.,Bioparc Valencia | And 3 more authors.
Zoo Biology | Year: 2016

Salivary samples were collected over a 24-hr period from one group of six juvenile (7-12 years) and one group of three adult (24-25 years) African elephant females, Loxodonta africana, and the cortisol concentration was measured in unextracted samples by EIA. Samples were collected during May, June, and November 2012 (n=147) using cotton swabs at 4-hr intervals from 20:00 to 20:00 of the next day (seven samples per animal in each trial). The animals are kept under standard zoo management: the herd is maintained in their indoor enclosures until 10:00 and then released into the outdoor enclosures until 21:00-21:30 (May/June) and 18:30-19:00 (November). No adult elephant bull was present at the zoo during this time. The results demonstrate a clear diurnal pattern of cortisol secretion with the lowest concentration observed at 20:00 (2.03±0.08ng/ml saliva) and the peak concentrations at 08:00 (5.26±0.35ng/ml saliva). Although the cortisol values were higher in the adult cows compared to the juvenile cows in the May-June period, the differences were not significant. However, the values obtained in November from the juvenile group were significantly higher (P<0.05) than the concentrations measured in this group in June. In conclusion, salivary cortisol in zoo elephants follows a circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle) adapted to daily zoo husbandry routines. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Ortega J.,CEU Cardenal Herrera University | Corpa J.M.,CEU Cardenal Herrera University | Orden J.A.,Complutense University of Madrid | Blanco J.,University of Santiago de Compostela | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation | Year: 2015

A 21-year-old male African elephant (Loxodonta africana) died suddenly with no previous medical history. Grossly, there were severe multifocal epicardial and endocardial hemorrhages of the atria and ventricles, hydropericardium, multifocal pleural hemorrhages, and severe pulmonary congestion and edema. Histologically, there was fibrinoid vasculitis and thrombosis in the heart and lung and myocardial necrosis. Citrobacter freundii was isolated in abundance in pure culture from liver and heart samples. Low levels of multiples types of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV-6, EEHV-2B, and EEHV-3A) were detected in spleen samples, but not in heart samples. The levels of EEHV DNA found were much lower than those usually associated with acute EEHV hemorrhagic disease, and many other genomic loci that would normally be found in such cases were evidently below the level of detection. Therefore, these findings are unlikely to indicate lethal EEHV disease. Polymerase chain reaction for encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) and toxicology for oleander (Nerium oleander) were negative. Stress, resulting from recent transport, and antimicrobial therapy may have contributed to the death of this animal. © 2015, The Author(s).


Casares M.,Bioparc Valencia | Recuero J.,Bioparc Fuengirola formerly Fuengirola Zoo | Fernandez-Hoyo G.,Bioparc Valencia
International Zoo Yearbook | Year: 2011

The population of Talapoin monkeys Miopithecus spp in European zoos is small and, to date, few institutions have bred these monkeys regularly. During the period 2005-2009, several transfers were carried out in European Association of Zoos and Aquaria member zoos in order to build larger groups of animals, including one bachelor group, and talapoins have been introduced to several mixed-species exhibits. Although talapoins benefit from the larger space available in such enclosures, incidental fatality as a result of conflicts with other Old World primate species has been recorded. As young ♀ talapoins were targeted in these incidences, the possible influence of sexuality as a factor is discussed. © 2010 The Authors. International Zoo Yearbook © 2010 The Zoological Society of London.


PubMed | Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, Smithsonian Institution, Fort Worth Zoological Park, Maryland Zoo at Baltimore and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of virology | Year: 2016

More than 80 cases of lethal hemorrhagic disease associated with elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHVs) have been identified in young Asian elephants worldwide. Diagnostic PCR tests detected six types of EEHV in blood of elephants with acute disease, although EEHV1A is the predominant pathogenic type. Previously, the presence of herpesvirus virions within benign lung and skin nodules from healthy African elephants led to suggestions that African elephants may be the source of EEHV disease in Asian elephants. Here, we used direct PCR-based DNA sequencing to detect EEHV genomes in necropsy tissue from five healthy adult African elephants. Two large lung nodules collected from culled wild South African elephants contained high levels of either EEHV3 alone or both EEHV2 and EEHV3. Similarly, a euthanized U.S. elephant proved to harbor multiple EEHV types distributed nonuniformly across four small lung nodules, including high levels of EEHV6, lower levels of EEHV3 and EEHV2, and a new GC-rich branch type, EEHV7. Several of the same EEHV types were also detected in random lung and spleen samples from two other elephants. Sanger PCR DNA sequence data comprising 100 kb were obtained from a total of 15 different strains identified, with (except for a few hypervariable genes) the EEHV2, EEHV3, and EEHV6 strains all being closely related to known genotypes from cases of acute disease, whereas the seven loci (4.0 kb) obtained from EEHV7 averaged 18% divergence from their nearest relative, EEHV3. Overall, we conclude that these four EEHV species, but probably not EEHV1, occur commonly as quiescent infections in African elephants.Acute hemorrhagic disease characterized by high-level viremia due to infection by members of the Proboscivirus genus threatens the future breeding success of endangered Asian elephants worldwide. Although the genomes of six EEHV types from acute cases have been partially or fully characterized, lethal disease predominantly involves a variety of strains of EEHV1, whose natural host has been unclear. Here, we carried out genotype analyses by partial PCR sequencing of necropsy tissue from five asymptomatic African elephants and identified multiple simultaneous infections by several different EEHV types, including high concentrations in lymphoid lung nodules. Overall, the results provide strong evidence that EEHV2, EEHV3, EEHV6, and EEHV7 represent natural ubiquitous infections in African elephants, whereas Asian elephants harbor EEHV1A, EEHV1B, EEHV4, and EEHV5. Although a single case of fatal cross-species infection by EEHV3 is known, the results do not support the previous concept that highly pathogenic EEHV1A crossed from African to Asian elephants in zoos.


Casares M.,Bioparc Valencia | Bernhard A.,Zoo Leipzig GmbH | Gerique C.,Bioparc Valencia | Malo E.,Bioparc Valencia | Carbonell D.,Bioparc Valencia
International Zoo Yearbook | Year: 2012

Hand-rearing giraffe calves is a challenging, time-consuming and labour-intensive process. There appears to be high individual variability among different calves. Different feeding schedules and milk substitutes have been used and are discussed. The use of whole cow's milk is recommended and can be mixed with different supplements or calf milk replacers. The authors recommend weaning the calf around 1 year of age. © 2012 The Authors. International Zoo Yearbook © 2012 The Zoological Society of London.

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