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Novel Techniques in Nutrition and Food Science

A Simple, Practical Method for Measurement of Fat in Milk, Applied to Mid- to Late-Lactating Working Elephants in Myanmar

Submission: July 09, 2018;Published: August 16, 2018

DOI: 10.31031/NTNF.2018.02.000541

ISSN 2640-9208
Volume2 Issue4


Determining nutrient composition of milk is not only of interest to dairy industry, but may play a key role improving maternal well-being and offspring health and survival in a range of species, including endangered populations of mammals managed in captivity. However, in field conditions, lack of transportation, reagents, equipment, and electricity may limit the applicability of methodologies developed for dairy livestock species to wildlife. One example of a population benefitting from a practical method to assess milk quality in the field is that of Asian elephants employed in timber industry in Myanmar. A third (~15,000) of the remaining, endangered population of Asian elephants lives in captivity in range countries [1]. The largest (~5000) such captive population is employed in the timber logging industry in Myanmar of which over half belong to the government-owned Myanma Timber Enterprise. However, high calf mortality poses a risk to the population viability: of the identified causes of calf mortality, malnutrition caused by agalactia (lack of or deficient milk production of mothers), was the death reason for 26.3% of calves dying before age 5 years [2]. Seasonal variation in climate, body condition and mortality rate may exacerbate such effects [3].

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