Obesity In Zoo Elephants

Decent Essays
Obesity is a very large health risk for humans, livestock, and companion animals. There are many conditions that can threaten the health in elephants that correlate with obesity, such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, ovarian cycle abnormalities, and foot problems. There was only twenty-two percent of elephants with body condition scores(BCS) of a 3, and less than five percent had the lowest BCS of the species tested in the study. Obesity is defined as an accumulation of excessive amounts of adipose tissue in the body (Morfeld, 2016). When using a scoring system, the scores are usually based on five or nine points. On a five-point scale, one is being the thinnest; while five is fattest(obese). Animals with lower scores usually mean they…show more content…
When using the nine-point scale, four and five are considered ideal/normal body weight, while one through three equals underweight/thin animals, and the scores between six and nine equal an obese/overweight animal. The body condition scoring system is commonly used on animals such as horses, dogs, sheep, and cattle. “Meehan (2016) believed that high body condition is prevalent among North American zoo elephants, and management strategies that help and mitigate obesity leads to improvements in the welfare of zoo elephants.” The main objectives were to determine the body condition scores of elephants and using multi-variable regression modeling to determine housing and social factors associated with the risks of elephants being overweight were the main objectives. Many species are obesity is because of the energy imbalance, caloric intakes exceed energetic…show more content…
Insulin and leptin were specifically found to be predictors of ovarian cyclicity in female African elephants, also high body condition scores and metabolic hormones also play a factor. Changes in exercise and feeding management practices have a significant effect on the health and welfare of the elephants. Eating multiple small meals throughout the day may suppresses hunger and lower the serum insulin concentrations found in obese elephants. Health and sex plays an important role in elephants when it comes to the body condition, and risk factors that are correlated with obesity. Females have a higher BCS than males, so they are more prone to have more conditions that are threatening to their health than males
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