Nitric oxide (NO) produced in the respiratory tract is released into the respiratory gases of humans, rabbits, guinea-pigs, and rats. We analysed the NO concentrations in the exhaled gas of four awake Asian elephants. Two methods were employed: (1) exhaled gas was sampled from the elephants' trunks with a 1 L syringe and analysed for NO concentrations by chemiluminescence; (2) respiratory gas was continuously aspirated via a thin plastic tube positioned within the trunk and on-line analysed for NO concentrations by chemiluminescence. Syringe sampling (n = 4), when corrected for dilution by ambient air using linear regression analysis, revealed a mean NO concentration of 31 parts per billion (ppb); highest exhalatory concentrations measured during continuous suctioning were 27 and 28 ppb (n = 2). The exhaled NO concentrations in elephants are similar to those found in humans measured with a comparable technique. This supports the hypothesis that a size-independent 'normal value' of endogenous NO is provided in the airways which may contribute to regulation of pulmonary ventilation and perfusion by autoinhalation in some mammals.