Serum profiles of American Elk, Cervus elaphus, at the time of handling for three capture methods

J. J. Millspaugh, M. A. Coleman, P. J. Bauman, K. J. Raedeke, G. C. Brundige

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13 Scopus citations


American Elk (Cervus elaphus) are captured using a variety of techniques and each may inflict various types of stress and/or injury that could affect animal well-being. We compared serum profiles of 25 free-ranging elk captured by helicopter net-gunning (n = 7), modified Clover traps (n = 7), and corralling (n = 11) in the Black Hills, South Dakota. Glucose, aspartate aminotransterase, and lactic dehydrogenase levels were higher in Clover-trapped elk than corralled or net-gunned elk. Potassium and creatinine kinase levels were higher in elk Captured by corralling than elk Captured by net-guns or Clover traps. Bilirubin was higher in Clover trapped and corralled elk compared to net-gunned elk. Our results suggest (1) techniques requiring less time from capture to release (i.e., net-gunning) significantly reduce tissue and muscle damage versus methods in which elk were confined for longer periods of time (i.e., Clover trapping and corralling), (2) limiting the time elk are restrained to < 24 hours in corrals may reduce muscle and tissue damage, (3) several serum parameters should be measured in order to obtain a complete description of elk response to capture and restraint.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-200
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian Field-Naturalist
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000


  • American Elk
  • Biochemical parameters
  • Capture
  • Cervus elaphus
  • Clover trap
  • Corralling
  • Net-gun capture
  • Serum chemistry
  • Serum profiles
  • South Dakota


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