A unique feature of the reproductive physiology of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) is the occurrence of two LH surges before ovulation, instead of one. An anovulatory LH (anLH) surge, the function of which is unknown, occurs consistently 3 weeks before the ovulatory LH (ovLH) surge that induces ovulation. Thus, the ability to induce an ovLH surge would be useful for scheduling natural mating or artificial insemination.
The use of focused ion beam (FIB) milling for preparation of sections of mineralised ivory dentine for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is investigated. Ivory dentine is essentially composed of fibrillar type-I collagen and apatite crystals. The aim of this project is to gain a clearer understanding of the relationship between the organic and inorganic components of ivory dentine using analytical TEM, in order to utilise these analytical techniques in the context of common skeletal diseases such as osteoporosis and arthritis.
Flow cytometric sexing of spermatozoa followed by application in artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization provides a unique opportunity to predetermine the sex of offspring and might enhance the conservation management of endangered species in captivity such as the elephant and rhinoceros.
Elephants living in dense woodlands are difficult to count. Many elephant populations in Africa occur in such conditions. Estimates of these populations based on total counts, aerial counts and dung counts often lack information on precision and accuracy. We use standard mark-recapture field methods to obtain estimates of population size with associated confidence limits. We apply this approach to a closed elephant population in the Tembe Elephant Park (300 km(2)), South Africa. A registration count completed in 4 months gives a known population size.
A 48-yr-old female Asian elephant with a history of pododermatitis developed recurrent hematuria beginning in 2002. Transrectal ultrasonography and endoscopic examination in 2004 identified the uterus as the source of hematuria and excluded hemorrhagic cystitis. Treatment with Desloreline implants, antibiotics, and homeopathic drugs led to an improved general condition of the elephant. In July 2005, the elephant was suddenly found dead.