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Edu-Ecotourism Concept of Equine Cortisol Metabolites and Tri/Tetra-Iodothyronine Ratio

Edu-Ecotourism Concept of Equine Cortisol Metabolites and Tri/Tetra-Iodothyronine Ratio

Claude Mona Airin1*, Miyayu Soneta Sofyan2, Galy Hardyta3, Khrisdiana Putri4, Pudji Astuti1

1Department of Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universitas Gadjah Mada Yogyakarta, Indonesia; 2Health Departement Faculty of Vocational Study Airlangga University, Surabaya, Indonesia; 3Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Animal Husbandry, Universitas Tidar Magelang, Indonesia; 4Department of Veterinary Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universitas Gadjah Mada Yogyakarta, Indonesia

 
*Correspondence | Claude Mona Airin, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universitas Gadjah Mada Yogyakarta; Email: monaairin@ugm.ac.id

ABSTRACT

The welfare factor of riding horses is often forgotten when visitors overflow during peak season at minizoo rides. We aimed to determine how many tourists and horse riders affect their cortisol levels and the tri and tetraiodothyronine (T3/T4) ratio. We employed three riding horses at the Jogja Exotarium (JE), Yogyakarta. Fecal samples were collected in the morning, afternoon, and evening for seven days, during low and high numbers of visitors. The collected fecal samples were freeze-dried for 72 hours, and 80% methanol extraction followed by Enzyme Immuno Assay (EIA) analysis on cortisol, T3 and T4 levels carried out. Other data, such as the number of visitors, mileage, and number of horse riders, are also recorded. The average daily cortisol level during the low season is 392.41 ng/g dry feces, with a total visitor count of 21 without tourists riding horses. Meanwhile, the peak session reached 413.56 ng/g dry feces with 759 visitors and 12 tourists riding horses. The average cortisol levels during low sessions in the morning, afternoon, and evening are 344.41 ng/g dry feces, 425.7 ng/gr dry feces, and 407.27 ng/g dry feces, respectively. The mean cortisol levels during peak sessions in the morning, afternoon, and evening are 462.26 ng/g dry feces, 401.64 ng/gr dry feces, and 376.98 ng/gr dry feces. The highest T3/T4 ratio was 0.58 ± 0.056 in the afternoon at peak session, while the highest low session ratio in the morning was 0.57 ± 0.068. However, both sessions’ T3/T4 ratios decrease in the afternoon. There is a significant (P<0.05) difference in the average daily cortisol levels and morning cortisol levels during the low session and peak session. The number of tourists and the number of tourists riding horses is correlated positively with cortisol levels but not significantly. The mean cortisol levels in the afternoon and evening are not significantly different during both low and peak sessions. The T3/T4 hormone ratio did not differ significantly between the low and peak sessions in the morning, afternoon, or evening. To conclude, the number of tourists affects cortisol levels; however, the levels decline in the evening in both low and peak sessions, while the T3/T4 ratio will return to the basal value in the afternoon. This indicates that the horses are treated according to animal welfare even though the number of tourists increases.
 
Keywords | Animal welfare, Dry feces, Freeze-dried, Low session, Peak session, Visitor

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Advances in Animal and Veterinary Sciences

July

Vol. 12, Iss. 7, pp. 1206-1409

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