Ellen Katy Lake

Publication Date



The purpose of this study was to describe the adjustment process of African elephants when separated from companions and introduced into a new enclosure. Two elephants were observed for fourteen sessions in the novel enclosure and for five sessions in their regular exhibit areas. Each session lasted thirty minutes and was divided into three ten minute periods. Seven defined behaviors were tallied by two observers simultaneously. The proportion of behaviors indicative of investigation and stress revealed when an animal had adjusted to the new situation, i.e., after adjustment, investigative behaviors consistently predominated over behaviors indicative of stress. Each elephant adjusted differently to the novel situation. This study then merely documents the obvious; elephants should be slowly introduced to and observed in novel environments.

Recommended Citation

Lake, E. K. (1986). Adjustment Process of African Elephants ot a Novel Situation. Elephant, 2(2), 32-38. Doi: 10.22237/elephant/1521731991