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Title: Influence of season, tourist activities and camp management on body condition, testicular and adrenal steroids, lipid profiles, and metabolic status in captive Asian elephant bulls in Thailand
Authors: Treepradab Norkaew
Janine L. Brown
Pakkanut Bansiddhi
Chaleamchat Somgird
Chatchote Thitaram
Veerasak Punyapornwithaya
Khanittha Punturee
Preeyanat Vongchan
Nopphamas Somboon
Jaruwan Khonmee
Keywords: Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Issue Date: 1-Mar-2019
Abstract: © This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. We previously found relationships between body condition and physiological function affecting health and welfare of female tourist camp elephants in Thailand, and used that approach to conduct a similar study of bull elephants in the same camps (n = 13). A body condition score (BCS) was done every other month, and fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (FGM) concentrations were measured twice monthly for 1 year. Effects of season, camp management and tourist activity on lipid profiles [total cholesterol (TC), low density lipoproteins (LDL), high density lipoproteins (HDL), triglycerides (TG)] and metabolic factors [insulin, glucose, fructosamine, glucose to insulin ratio (G:I)] were determined and correlated to measures of body condition, testosterone and FGM. Positive correlations were found between BCS and TG, between FGM and TG, HDL and glucose, and between testosterone and HDL, whereas BCS and testosterone were negatively associated with the G:I. There was a significant positive relationship between FGM and testosterone. Elevated FGM concentrations were associated with altered lipid and metabolic profiles and were higher in winter compared to summer and rainy seasons. Insulin and glucose levels were higher, while the G:I was lowest in the winter season. Strong positive associations were found between TC and HDL, LDL and HDL and glucose, and glucose and insulin. By contrast, negative relationships were found between the G:I and HDL and glucose, and between insulin and G:I. Differences also were found between High and Low tourist season months for FGM, insulin, and G:I. Last, there was notable variation among the camps in measured parameters, which together with tourist season effects suggests camp management may affect physiological function and welfare; some negatively like feeding high calorie treats, others positively, like exercise. Last, compared to females, bull elephants appear to be in better physical health based on normal BCSs, lower insulin levels and higher G:I ratios.
ISSN: 19326203
Appears in Collections:CMUL: Journal Articles

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