The Thai Journal of Veterinary Medicine


Accurate estimation of body weight is useful for feeding program evaluation, assessing nutritional status and general health, and for accurate dose calculation in medical treatment. However, it is impractical to weigh elephants due to their enormous size and tremendous weight, and also due to the lack of a suitable weighing machine. The objective of the present study was to correlate various body measurements and actual body weight of the elephant in order to formulate a regression model to approximate the body weight of the elephant from body measurements. Seventy-eight Asian elephants (Elephas maximus indicus) comprising 18 males and 60 females, from 9 months to 57 years in age were used. Body weight, girth measurements (heart, neck and flank), shoulder height, and circumference of feet and elbows were measured. All possible linear regressions of body weight were calculated. The most accurate model when using one parameter for domestic elephants is the flank girth (R2 = 0.939), although the body weight of domestic Asian elephants can be reliably calculated from various body measurements (R2 ≥ 0.813). For wild elephants, we suggested that shoulder height and circumference of feet are more practical (R2 ≥ 0.839). Inclusion of sex and age group (< 10 years, 10 to < 20 years, and ≥ 20 years) in the statistical model increased the R2.



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