Study of calcium metabolism in captive elephants by means of feeding trail

Citation

Schaftenaar W, Van Sonsbeek L, Van Der Kolk J. 2009. Study of calcium metabolism in captive elephants by means of feeding trail. In Ward A, Treiber K, Schmidt D, Coslik A, Maslanka M, Eds. Proceedings of the Eighth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Tulsa, OK.

Abstract

Hypocalcemia in elephants is a concern that needs attention. Cases of calcium-responsive dystocia have been reported anecdotally and the number of bone fractures in hospitalized working elephants in Thailand is relatively high. A feeding trial in 4 Asian elephants at the Rotterdam zoo showed that an increase in the calcium concentration of the roughage resulted in a significant rise in blood calcium levels. The results of a follow-up study in 5 European zoos, including 12 Asian elephants and 6 African elephants are discussed in this presentation.

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