The in situ and ex situ populations of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) are rapidly decreasing. It is crucial to breed elephants in captivity so that captive stocks do not need to be supplied by wild capturing. The low birth and high mortality rate cause the captive population to decline rapidly. Captive breeding programs in Asian elephants range countries and zoos have met with limited success and few ex situ elephant populations are self-sustaining. Maintaining the captive populations in tourist and timber elephant camps, circus, zoos or any elephant facilities would be essential to prevent a drain of wild populations and to decrease illegal wild capture. In this review article, the breeding management of the elephant facilities in range countries and western zoos was addressed, with the history, limitations, success, and methods of improvement. The co-operation among institutes across countries and continents to conserve this endangered species.
The combination of a few factors, including poor captive reproduction, secession of importation from the wild, advances in hormone detection and ultrasonography, and, regrettably, elephant culling in Africa, has contributed to the current knowledge on the elephant cycle. Several reproductive features in elephants differ markedly from other mammals. These include the urogenital tract anatomy, length and structure of the cycle, the formation of multiple corpora lutea and the type and secretion pattern of reproductive hormones. Being 12 to 18 weeks in length, the elephant estrous cycle is the longest amongst all studied non-seasonal mammals to date. Progesterone rises one to three days after ovulation, indicating the start of the luteal phase, which lasts six to 12 weeks. This is followed by a four to six weeks follicular phase that is concluded by two, precisely spaced and timed, LH surges. In general, the first, anovulatory LH surge occurs exactly 19 to 21 days before the second, ovulatory surge. Normally, a single follicle is ovulated. However, beside a corpus luteum (CL) forming on the site of ovulation, multiple accessory CLs can be found on the ovaries. Unlike many other species, the predominant progestagen secreted by luteal tissues is not progesterone, but rather its 5-α-reduced metabolites. The currently known aspects of the unique estrous cycle in Asian and African elephants, covering estrous behavior, circulating hormones, ultrasonography and anatomy of the reproductive organs and its pathology as well as hormonal manipulation treatment possibilities, will be reviewed here.
Some medical care or interesting stories in two aquariums are exposed, including an important lesson drawn from one case of malignant mesothelioma. My foresight in the near future is that findings derived from abundant records will lead to emotional exhibition.
In Kaiyukan, the research activity is accelerated to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity coupled with the sustainable management of our aquarium. For contribution of the conservation, the veterinarians in our aquarium are striving for the research relevant to the accumulation of the clinical knowledge and the development of the clinical technique in aquatic organisms as a black box in biology.
A helminthological survey was carried out on wild birds (39 individuals belonging to 27 species) which were rescued and died after protection in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, between 1997 and 2007. Helminths were detected from 25 individuals of 18 host species. New geographical records in Japan were as follows. Trematodes: Apharyngostrigea cornu from Ardea cinerea and Egretta intermedia, Cardiocephaloides longicollis from Larus argentatus, Ophiosoma patagiatum from E. intermedia, Uroproctepisthmium sp. from A. cinerea; Cestodes: Paruterina candelabraria from Otus lempiji; Nematodes: Desmidocercella numidica from A. cinerea. And new host records in Japan were given below. Trematodes: Brachylecithum sp. from Turdus naumanni and Zoothera dauma, Lyperosomum turdia from Turdus chrysolaus, Opisthorchis sp. from A. cinerea, Stictodora lari from L. schistisagus, Desportesius spinulatus from E. intermedia, Stegophorus stercorarii from Puffinus tenuirostris.
Muscle weights were examined and compared among Japanese Game (Shamo), Thai Game (Kai Chon), Sonia, Fayomi and Rhode Island Red to investigate the morphological characteristics and the functional significances of muscular systems in standing-type cocks including game breeds. The following functional-morphological relationships of the muscular system in the fighting cocks, especially the Japanese Game and Thai Game, were recognized: 1) The total muscular weight ratio was relatively higher in the Japanese Game and Thai Game than in Sonia, Fayomi and Rhode Island Red. 2) Muscle weight was concentrated in the hindlimb to adapt to running, jumping and an upright stance in the Japanese Game and Thai Game. 3) Although flexibility and quick movements are needed in the neck region of fighting cocks, weight ratios and weight indices of the muscles in the neck structure were smaller in the Japanese Game and Thai Game than in the other breeds. 4) The Japanese Game and Thai Game had similar weight ratios and weight indices for each muscle.
Case reports of mycotic infection of 6 individuals of captive loggerhead turtles(Caretta caretta) in Himeji city aquarium and Hiwasa Sea Turtle Museum, Japan, were described. In order to investigate the agents from water of the aquariums, five fungal species were obtained from the samples. Among them, Monascus rubrum was recorded from an aquarium kept with sea turtles.