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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Compromised survivorship in zoo elephants
Author(s): Clubb, Ros
Rowcliffe, Marcus
Lee, Phyllis C
Mar, Khyne U
Moss, Cynthia J
Mason, Georgia J
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Keywords: lifespan
captive breeding
Amboseli elephants
Burmese timber elephants
Captive mammals Breeding
Animal welfare
Zoo animals
Zoos Europe
Issue Date: Dec-2008
Date Deposited: 20-Mar-2009
Citation: Clubb R, Rowcliffe M, Lee PC, Mar KU, Moss CJ & Mason GJ (2008) Compromised survivorship in zoo elephants. Science, 322 (5908), p. 1649.
Abstract: Keeping elephants in zoos is extremely costly, yet does not yield self-sustaining 16 populations. In Europe, which holds c. half the global zoo elephant population, a long17 term decline of c.10% per year is expected in both species, if reliant on zoo-bred animals 18 under historically prevailing conditions. Fitness in zoos is compromised in several ways. 19 Compared with protected in situ populations (Burmese working Asians; Kenyan free20 living Africans), zoo elephants show premature reproductive senescence and -- despite 21 improving adult survivorship for Africans -- die earlier in adulthood than expected. In 22 Asian elephants, infant survivorship in zoos is also greatly reduced relative to Burmese 23 elephants, and furthermore, zoo-born animals die earlier in adulthood than wild-caught 24 conspecifics kept in zoos, via effects ‘programmed’ peri-natally. In this species, being 25 transferred between zoos also increases mortality rates. Both survival and fecundity 26 would need to improve to attain self-sustaining zoo populations. Our findings 27 demonstrate deficits in zoo elephant management, particularly for Asians, and implicate 28 stress and obesity as likely problems.
DOI Link: 10.1126/science.1164298
Rights: Published in Science by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The publisher has granted permission for use of this article in this repository. The article was first published in Science: Vol. 322. no. 5908, December 2008, p. 1649 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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