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Elephant behaviour in captivity

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Cerielson1, 2 Nov 2015.

  1. Cerielson1

    Cerielson1 Member

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    i am currently studying animal studies in university at a foundation degree. i need help on identifying 10 common behaviours of the Asian elephant that i would likely see in a zoo, this is to help me research them to produce an ethogram..... could anybody help me
     
  2. longleat diego

    longleat diego Well-Known Member

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    Head swaying is something ive seen in an elephant performing.
     
  3. Ned

    Ned Well-Known Member

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    Would you consider this to be common? Not sure I would.
    How about dust bathing for one?
     
  4. Cerielson1

    Cerielson1 Member

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    thank you for your help its appriciated greatly
     
  5. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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    Throwing sand on their backs, holding their trunks high in the air to smell new scents, flaring their ears when they are intimidated, resting the ends of their trunks on the ground to sense vibrations in the earth, spraying water on their bodies to wash themselves, scratching their skin with small twigs, shaking hay to get the dirt out of it before they eat it, and dropping the hay back onto the ground if the dirt does not come off. Many more, thats all I could think of on the spot. I am pretty confident everything is right.
     
  6. azcheetah2

    azcheetah2 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but didn't the OP say they were looking for behaviors in captive elephants? Those you listed, many of them, are done by elephants in the wild, too.
     
  7. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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    Oh I didn't know that he wanted behaviors that were only in captive elephants. I thought he just wanted behaviors in general that can be seen in only captive elephants, or behaviors that overlap between the wild and captivity.
     
  8. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

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    Eating/drinking maybe, sleeping, socializing (with keepers or with other elephants or even with zoo patrons), bathing, enrichment, those are all behaviors you might be likely to see.
     
  9. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    Swaying seems to be less common these days, since exhibits are higher quality and there is more enrichment.
     
  10. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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    Swaying is much more common in barns or in the winter than it is outside. I have noticed mothers sway when their calves are separated, like if the keepers are playing with a calf in a kiddie pool or something and the mom can only watch since the barriers are spaced far apart enough for a calf to go through but the adults have to stay on the other side.

    I have also notice elephants stand with both front feet planted on the ground, but only one hind foot is also planted, and the other back leg is crossed over the original hind leg that is holding up their weight? Has anyone else noticed that before, or was that a bad explanation?
     
  11. longleat diego

    longleat diego Well-Known Member

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    Ive noticed swaying in a few zoos but maybe thats just me:D
     
  12. karoocheetah

    karoocheetah Well-Known Member

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    Ah the all important behaviours - I've just done this for my studies (not Elephants I hasten to add) and I can't stress how important it is to get both a range of different behaviours that you can actually distinugish during your Obs as well as being able to interpret those behaviours categorically as what you state it is.
    e.g.
    You could say there are three types of behaviour - Affilliative (behaviours mutually nice between animals or aimed at another animal - things like mutual grooming), Agnostic (agressive sort of behaviours such as displacement or physical aggression) and Other (none directed behaviour such as feeding maybe)
    The problem is that Ellie (and other species) communicate a lot via sound (including infrasound which we outside of the range of human hearing) and smell - so some behaviours are subtle.
    There is a very useful text "The Safari Companion" and this lists many common behaviours of the species - its a great starting point and I used it myself then fine tuned the ones I wanted to use via some actual obs to see what they actually did.
    [ame=http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Safari-Companion-Including-Carnivores/dp/1890132446]The Safari Companion: A Guide to Watching African Mammals Including Hoofed Mammals, Carnivores, and Primates: Amazon.co.uk: Richard Estes: 9781890132446: Books[/ame] This is a link from Amazon - if you can't get your hands on a copy to look at give me a shout and I'll see what it says for elephants in mine. But if you do it yourself you can reference the book as source material :)