Tuberculosis (TB) in elephants is a re-emerging zoonotic disease caused primarily by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Current diagnosis relies on trunk wash culture, the only officially recognized test, which has serious limitations. Innovative and efficient diagnostic methods are urgently needed. Rapid identification of infected animals is a crucial prerequisite for more effective control of TB, as early diagnosis allows timely initiation of chemotherapy.
The Guidelines for the Control of Tuberculosis in Elephants 2003 (Guidelines) of the National tuberculosis Working Group for Zoo and Wildlife Species were written to protect the health and safety of captive elephants together with their handlers and the viewing public.
1 TheGuidelines specifically address the display and transport of captive elephants but do not address the unique situation of free-living elephants being imported and subsequently displayed to the public.
Data from long-term ecological studies further understanding of ecosystem dynamics and can guide evidence-based management. In a quasi-natural experiment we examined long-term monitoring data on different components of the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem to trace the effects of disturbances and thus to elucidate cause-and-effect connections between them. The long-term data illustrated the role of food limitation in population regulation in mammals, particularly in migratory wildebeest and nonmigratory buffalo.
Foot problems potentially represent the single most important clinical disease of captive elephants. Predisposing factors include obesity, lack of exercise, nail or sole overgrowth, improper foot care, poor hygiene, inappropriate enclosure surfaces, poor conformation, malnutrition and secondary skeletal disorders such as degenerative joint disease. Furthermore, factors such as elephant management philosophy, disposition of elephants, facilities and competency of staff in caring for elephant feet will contribute significantly to the foot health of captive…
The measurement of change in core body temperature, and its relation to infection or inflammation, is one of the oldest and most widely recognized diagnostic tools in medicine. The use of a thermometer is considered a basic part of the initial physical exam in most species and is often followed by other more sophisticated techniques to try to isolate the source of illness. With the development of affordable heat sensitive cameras the clinician can now detect general or specific areas of abnormal tissue temperatures.