Because of their size and reproductive anatomy, surgical castration is not a practical option in adult elephants. However, similar to other species in human care, the effects of gonadectomy are desired in specific situations. This may be for contraceptive purposes, or for behavioural or veterinary management of elephants in human care or wild elephants managed in small reserves. Research into non‐surgical contraceptive measures for wild and domestic animals has resulted in an array of hormonal and immunological options to downregulate gonadal function. Driven by the production‐animal industry, commercial gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) vaccines are readily and cheaply available. This immunocontraceptive is effective in both males and females as it inhibits gonadotrophic hormone release and, thus, downstream stimulation of testicles and ovaries. Here, available studies from the past 10 years on the GnRH vaccine application in male and female elephants are reviewed. Furthermore, we add our own experience gathered from the treatment of male African elephants Loxodonta africana and female Asian elephants Elephas maximus in human care. The GnRH vaccine offers a viable approach for various management purposes. It should be noted that the GnRH vaccine was not primarily designed as a reversible contraceptive. Therefore, its use must be well justified on an individual basis and the effects closely monitored.
Hoornweg, Tabitha E.; Schaftenaar, Willem; Maurer, Gilles; Van den Doel, Petra B.; Molenaar, Fieke M.; Chamouard-Galante, Alexandre; Vercammen, Francis; De Haan, Cornelis A. M.; Rutten, Victor P.M.G.; De Haan, Cornelis A.M.(MDPI, 2021-02)
Elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHVs) may cause acute, often lethal, hemorrhagic disease (EEHV-HD) in young elephants. Prevalence of EEHV in different elephant populations
is still largely unknown. In order to ...
The African Elephant is a key component of the savanna ecosystem. They contribute to the
generation of habitat for smaller vertebrates, as well as invertebrates, by the breaking of
branches or uprooting of trees. Elephants ...