Diet and the condition and growth of elephants in Uganda.
In the Rwenzori and Kabalega Falls National Parks, in the latter north and south of the Victoria Nile, 243 elephants were culled as family units at 2 seasons. Intake and nutritive value of food were assessed from stomach fill weight and content of the oesophageal region, and condition from the kidney fat index, femoral marrow fat and serum protein, urea, albumin and globulin from ear veins, liveweight, estimated from weight of dressed hind leg, and shoulder height for estimated age were recorded and instantaneous growth rate from the hydroxyproline-creatinine index in urine. Growth rates and condition were relatively stable throughout the year for Rwenzori. For the Falls they fluctuated, owing to inadequate feed supplies and crude protein in the diet in the dry season. Some criteria reflecting amount of stored food reserves, e.g., the kidney fat index, marrow fat and serum protein, did not give a reliable picture of current resources.