Elk, Immobilization Techniques, Succinylcholine Chloride
Marking individual elk was necessary to enable a study of their movements at Wind Cave National Park. Elk were immobilized with succinylcholine chloride (20 mg/cc) by using syringe darts. Twenty adult bulls were immobilized in a modified bison corral trap baited with salt; four adult cows and a six-month-old female calf were immobilized from a helicopter; and a single free-ranging adult cow was immobilized from the ground. The mean drug dosage used for successful immobilization was 27.0 mg for adult bulls and 24.4 mg for adult cows. Dosages necessary to immobilize bulls and cows differed significantly (P < 0.05). Bulls became immobilized an average of 8.8 minutes after injection and cows after 11.8 minutes; these times were not significantly different (P > 0.05). There was no difference (P > 0.05) in the average period of immobilization, 43.2 minutes for bulls and 42.6 minutes for cows. Succinylcholine chloride was slow-acting and sometimes caused death. Adult bulls in the vicinity of the corral readily entered the baited trap. Use of a helicopter was more effective than blinds, drives, or stalking for immobilization of free-ranging cows. The corral method was less costly than ground immobilization.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science
©1976 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Varland, Kenneth L.
"Techniques for Elk Immobilization with Succinylcholine Chloride,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 82(3-4), 194-197.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol82/iss3/15