In the present article, the experiments on the digestive efficiencies of young African elephants are described. Two tame elephants, 27 and 31 months old, were confined in paddocks and were fed with rations consisting of the same plant species that they would select if they were free. During the study period, the amount of food and energy ingested and rejected was determined. On the average, the gross assimilation rate was 42.1% for the two animals: 38.3 +/- 4.4% and 45.6 +/- 2.8% respectively. Under estimate of the gross assimilation rate and of dung production in natural conditions, it should be possible to estimate the feeding pressure on the home range. On the basis of the results, we have established an energy budget for the young African elephant in full growth.
Mammalia 43, 543-557.