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Title: Management factors affecting physical health and welfare of tourist camp elephants in Thailand
Authors: Pakkanut Bansiddhi
Korakot Nganvongpanit
Janine L. Brown
Veerasak Punyapornwithaya
Pornsawan Pongsopawijit
Chatchote Thitaram
Keywords: Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Issue Date: 1-Jan-2019
Abstract: © Copyright 2019 Bansiddhi et al. Background: Variation in management across elephant camps likely has differential effects on the well-being of elephants. Methods: This study calculated body condition, foot health and skin wound scores (WSs) for 122 elephants from 15 elephant camps in Chiang Mai province, and examined relationships to management factors using a multi-variable modeling approach. Results: The majority of elephants had high body condition scores (BCS) indicative of being overweight or obese, mild foot problems, but few visible wounds. Females had higher BCSs than males, as did elephants provided a water source at night. Increasing age was associated with higher foot and WSs. Higher WSs were observed in about a quarter of the cases where mahouts carried a hook. Wounds related to saddle riding were rare. Elephants that rested on sand floors at night had a decreased risk of high WSs compared to elephants that rested on compact dirt floors. Discussion: Findings emphasize the need for elephant camps to adjust management activities that negatively affect body condition (e.g., feeding too many sweet treats), foot health (e.g., hard substrates) and wounding (e.g., misuse of equipment) to improve health and welfare of this population.
ISSN: 21678359
Appears in Collections:CMUL: Journal Articles

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