Nuvoli, Simona and Burrai, Giovanni Pietro and Secci, Fabio and Columbano, Nicolò and Careddu, Giovanni Mario and Mandas, Luciano and Sanna, Maria Paola and Pirino, Salvatore and Antuofermo, Elisabetta (2014) Capture myopathy in a corsican red deer Cervus elaphus corsicanus (Ungulata: Cervidae). Italian Journal of Zoology, Vol. 81 (3), p. 457-462. ISSN 1125-0003. eISSN 1748-5851. Article.
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The present study focused on the importance of translocation as stressful event in an endangered cervid species causing fatal consequences during capture operations. Fourteen free-ranging Sardinian red deer (Cervus elaphus corsicanus) have been captured for restocking propose in a protected area of southwestern Sardinia. The cervids were chemically immobilized, transported to a restocking area and released in the wild. Sixteen hours after the release, a pregnant hind was found dead and a complete necropsy was performed. Post-capture blood samples showed increased levels of creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, cortisol and potassium and were highly indicative of stress-linked muscle damage. The macro- and microscopic lesions consisted of muscular and cardiac degeneration, and renal injury. In the kidneys, the presence of myoglobin in intratubular casts, detected by immunohistochemistry assay, suggested an acute renal failure associated with myoglobinuric nephrosis as a consequence of rhabdomyolysis. The pathological findings were indicative of capture myopathy in a Cervus elaphus corsicanus. This condition has never been reported in the endangered Corsican red deer. This report underlines that mortality from capture is a risk that must be considered during restocking programs. Further studies are needed to minimize stress to preserve wildlife from the risk of fatal consequences due to human interactions.
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