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Indianapolis, IN, United States

Kowalski N.L.,Indianapolis Zoological Society | Dale R.H.I.,Butler University | Mazur C.L.H.,Indianapolis Zoological Society
Zoo Biology | Year: 2010

We used four surveys to collect information about the birth, physical growth, and behavioral development of 12 African elephant calves born in captivity. The management of the birth process and neonatal care involved a variety of standard procedures. All of the calves were born at night, between 7PM and 7AM. The calves showed a systematic progression in behavioral and physical development, attaining developmental milestones at least a quickly as calves in situ. This study emphasized birth-related events, changes in the ways that calves used their trunks, first instances of behaviors, and interactions of the calves with other, usually adult, elephants. Several behaviors, such as the dam covering her calf with hay and the calf sucking its own trunk, were common in the captive situation and have been observed in situ. Overall, the behaviors of the calves resembled those observed for African elephant calves in situ. These data should help in the management of African elephants under human care by providing systematic reference values for the birth and development of elephant calves. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Source


Persky M.E.,Indianapolis Zoological Society | Jason Williams J.,Indianapolis Zoological Society | Burks R.E.,Indianapolis Zoological Society | Bowman M.R.,Indianapolis Zoological Society | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2012

The Indianapolis Zoo maintains a large collection of smooth dogfish (Mustelus canis). During the first several years of captivity, there was a period of high mortality in adult, wild-caught sharks in the collection. Smooth dogfish with superficial abrasions would rapidly succumb to infection and death, regardless of the treatment approach. Although the sharks did successfully produce viable offspring, there was an elevated pup mortality rate, with 0% of the pups reaching 1 yr of age during the same period of high mortality in adult sharks. This poor response to captivity prompted interest in the physiologic response of these animals to illness. The objective of this investigation was to establish a preliminary data set of hematologic and plasma chemistry reference intervals, along with select nutrient parameters specific to wild-caught adults maintained in prolonged captivity (i.e., greater than 22 mo). Blood samples were collected from 20 clinically healthy, male (n = 10) and female (n = 10) dogfish sharks at the Oceans facility at the Indianapolis Zoo. Although gender differences in mortality rate were not apparent, complete blood cell counts, plasma biochemical profiles, and select nutrient analyses were performed and analyzed accordingly. Statistically significant differences (P ≤ 0.05) specific to sex were determined for parameters including packed cell volume (PCV), absolute and relative fine eosinophilic granulocytes, relative percentage of coarse eosinophilic granulocytes, globulins, the albumin/globulin ratio, total protein, phosphorus, iron, selenium and copper. White blood cell counts appear to be lower in this species compared to other captive elasmobranchs. Further research into appropriate hematology standards including nutritional parameters appears warranted. © 2012 American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. Source

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