2019 ZWNF/NAG Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition
Polar Bear Nutrition Guidelines
Post-Doc: Henry Doorly Zoo
Fecal Condition Scoring Resource Center
Guidelines for the Humane and Ethical Acquisition and Management of Vertebrate Feeder Animals (Excluding Fish)
Body Condition Scoring Resource Center
Zoo Nutrition Myth: A fruit is a fruit

Survey of nutrient concentrations in the diet, serum, and urine of giraffe maintained in North American zoos

In order to elucidate the causes of urolithiasis in giraffe, a comprehensive survey was initiated in September 2004 of giraffe within North American zoological institutions. Giraffe feeding practices and medical histories were examined, and holding institutions were recruited to submit samples of feeds, water, serum, urine and feces, and asked to participate in a feeding trial.

Basics of ruminant animal nutrition

Cellulose is the main constituent of plant cell walls and is the most abundant carbohydrate on earth. With exception of some snails and arthropods, animals lack the necessary enzymes for the digestion of cellulose. Bacteria and fungi are the main cellulose digesters. Animals have coevolved with their feeds, and by different strategies, herbivores use plants as source of most nutrients....

Comparison of diets fed to South-East Asian Colobines in North American and European Zoos Versus Natural Diets

Comparison of diets fed to South-East Asian Colobines in North American and European Zoos Versus Natural Diets Joeke Nijboer1 and Ellen S. Dierenfeld2 1 Rotterdam Zoo, Rotterdam, Netherlands 2 Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, New York In May and June 1994 a survey of diets fed to south-east Asian colobines in captivity in European (n = 12) and North American (n...

CD-ROM teaching unit on the digestive system of vertebrates

The present-day vertebrates are comprised of approximately 45,000 species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals that have adapted to a wide-range of freshwater, marine, and terrestrial habitats. Their digestive system provides for the assimilation of the energy and nutrients required for maintenance, growth, and reproduction. This is accomplished by complex series of episodic events that reduce food to a...

A GUIDE TO DECIDING ON A CENTRALIZED VS DECENTRALIZED COMMISSARY APPROACH IN A ZOO SETTING

Likely since the inception of zoological collections, there has been a debate over whether it is most efficient and effective to have a centralized or a decentralized commissary operation. Proponents of both types of operations know the bonuses and shortfalls of their own approach, as well as their perceptions of each for the “path not chosen.” Both approaches have been...

Nutrient composition of selected tropical browse species fed to zoo animals in Hawaii

The objective of this project was to determine the nutrient composition of selected browse species available and fed at the Honolulu Zoo in Hawaii, and to facilitate their use in more balanced zoo rations there and at other tropically located zoos. Samples of 26 different materials including; apple banana, areca palm, hula bamboo, golden bamboo, cape honeysuckle, coral hibiscus, dwarf...

Milk composition of the reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata)

Reticulated giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) are the most common subspecies of giraffe maintained in zoological institutions. The gestation length for a reticulated giraffe is about 455 days (15 months). Lactation in wild giraffes has been estimated to last 12-13 months. The milk samples used in this study were part of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park’s Milk Repository and had been...

Impact of dietary n-3 and n-6 PUFA on oxidative status and inflammation in yellow-rumped warblers

The intake and ratio of the essential fatty acid classes, n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), impact animal health. The dietary ratio of these fatty acids can be important as n-3 PUFA are considered anti-inflammatory, while n-6 PUFA are pro-inflammatory. Additionally, the increased number of double bonds in PUFA makes them more vulnerable to oxidative damage, potentially increasing the...

Energy metabolizability and nutrient digestibility in the magpie (Pica pica)

A number of studies have been conducted to determine energy requirements in avian species. However, this is a complex area and one which is driven by a number of factors. For example, environment is one of the major factors which governs energy requirements, and the metabolizable energy requirements of avians housed in controlled conditions probably do not reflect the normal...

Testing a vitamin supplement paste in Jackass Penguins (Spheniscus demersus)

According to the literature, piscivorous species fed dead, frozen fish in zoos have been shown to require supplemental vitamin E and thiamin (Engelhardt and Geraci, 1978, Robbins, 1993). The Rotterdam Zoo supplemented jackass penguins (Spheniscus demersus) with extra vitamins since 1991 by injecting liquid vitamins into the defrosted pilchards (Sardina pilchardus), mackerel (Scomber scombrus) and herring (Clupea harangus) fed to...

Practical investigation of cricket dust supplements commonly used to enhance diets provided to insectivore species under human care.

Amphibians  and  reptiles  commonly  managed  under  human  care  are  commonly  fed  farmed  feeder  crickets  (Acheta  domesticus)  that  are  deficient  in  calcium.  Calcium  deficiency  can  lead  to  the  development  of  nutritional  metabolic  bone  disease  in  animals  consuming  the  crickets;  therefore,  feeder  crickets  are  commonly  supplemented  with  calcium  by  either  dusting  the  crickets’exoskeleton  or  by  providing  crickets  with  a  calcium  enriched  diet. ...

Feed intake and analysis of browse fed to Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

Even though Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) have been exhibited at 4 zoos in the U.S. for about 20 years, the diet is not well defined. Currently, the animals at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden (CZBG) appear in good health and condition with successful reproduction consuming a diet of the following ingredient proportions: 9-18% produce, 76-83% ficus spp., 3-5% ZNN (Zoo...

A streamlined procedure for the determination of trace elements in foods

Considerable analytical challenges were imposed on food chemists when Congress passed the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 (NLEA). When this law was ratified, labeling of fourteen food nutrients became mandatory, and thirty-four others voluntary. Many Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) validated methods for foods are matrix or analyte specific. Developing rugged, generic methodology for all foods became...

Allometry and Ecology of Feeding Behaviour and Digestive Capacity in Herbivores

Allometry and Ecology of Feeding Behaviour and Digestive Capacity in Herbivores Peter J. Van Soest Cornell University, Ithaca, New York Ruminants are animals that have specialized on the capture of energy in cellulosic carbohydrates in contrast to perissodactyls that tend to consume volume with lower extraction. Thus equids, for example, are more tolerant to low quality forages than many ruminants...

Evaluating a field nitrate test for sudangrass hay to prevent nitrate poisoning

The objective of this study was to compare a field nitrate test using two different test strips to the hay nitrate concentrations determined at a commercial laboratory. Twelve samples of sudangrass hay collected in 2006 through 2008 were used to compare the nitrate concentration determined at a commercial laboratory using the RQflex Reflectometer method to those determined by a field...

Intake apparent digestibility and digesta passage in leopard tortoises (Geochelone pardalis) fed a complete, extruded feed

The influence of feeding juvenile female leopard tortoises (Geochelone pardalis, n=18) a commercially available, complete, extruded feed on two commonly used feeding schedules was evaluated. When fed seven (compared to three) days per week, dry matter and digestible energy intakes were greater (P<0.05). Tortoises gained more body weight, kilogram (BWkg), but not when adjusted per initial BWkg, grew more in...

Obesity, weight management and dietary analysis in Micronesian kingfishers (Halcyon cinnamomina cinnamomina)

Mortality in captive Micronesian kingfishers (Halcyon cinnamomina cinnamomina) is notably high in age classes that should be peak breeding years. Females, in particular, suffer high rates of mortality earlier than would be expected from examining patterns in related species. Many birds are overweight and sustained weight loss has been difficult to achieve. Body mass for the 2.2 birds in this...

The Mob-Under Investigation

‘Brewer’, a 4 year old male red kangaroo (Macropus rufus) under human care at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, presented on December 10, 2016 with signs of colic, penile prolapse, and dribbling urine. Diagnostic imaging, including radiographs and computed tomography (CT) with contrast, revealed urethral obstruction with a radiopaque stone and additional uroliths in the left ureter and right renal pelvis. The...

Effect of Vitamin D3/ Ascorbic Acid Supplementation on Growth and Tibia Characteristics of Green Water Dragons (Physignathus cocincinus, Cuvier 1829)

A preliminary experiment was conducted to investigate the interactive effect of one level of a combined dose of vitamin D3/ascorbic acid (C) supplementation on growth performance and bone development in green water dragons (Physignathus cocincinus, Cuvier 1829) .Ten forty- seven day old female green water dragons obtained from one clutch of eggs were selected for this study. From birth to...

Apple leaves and bark as browse items for herbivorous monogastrics under human care

Many zoological institutions are faced with challenges when developing and providing a diet for their non-ruminant browsing herbivores. The most prominent issue remains providing readily available, safe and sufficient quantities of plant material. Zoos are often forced, usually by climate, to utilize seasonally available, local, appropriate and or novel plant species in order to decrease the effort and expense required...

Improvement of male fertility by long-term beta-carotene supplementation in white rhinoceroses (Ceratotherium simum)

Substantial knowledge on the reproductive physiology of the female white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) has been gathered over the past years. However, little emphasis has been put on the evaluation of male fertility as a possible contributing factor to the demographic crisis of the captive population considering that 81% of male captive white rhinoceros have not sired offspring. Objective of this...

Effect of nutrition on the reproductive fitness of the endangered Attwater’s Prairie Chicken

Attwater’s Prairie Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido attwateri) are an endangered Texan grouse species. Their survival relies on captive breeding for propagation of the free-ranging population. In recent years, chick hatchability and survivability in captivity has steadily decreased, with survivability in 2004 less than 30%. Preliminary data obtained in 2004 from captive and free ranging Attwater’s Prairie Chickens, demonstrated potential differences in...

Ascorbic acid, vitamin E, vitamin A, and trace elements in serum of zoo crocodilians.

A potential clinical case of ulcerative gingivitis in a male gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) initiated an investigation to determine if there was adequate ascorbic acid in the diet of crocodilians at the San Diego Zoo (SDZ), and San Diego Zoo Safari Park (SP). Reptiles can synthesize ascorbic acid and classic deficiency is rarely seen. The objective of this summary was to...

OBSERVATIONS ON WEIGHT LOSS AND FECAL CONSISTENCY IN GIANT ANTEATERS (MYRMECOPHAGA TRIDACTYLA) DURING THREE TRANSITIONS FROM A MIXED NATURAL IN-HOUSE TO COMMERCIAL COMPLETE DIETS

Giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) are highly specialized insectivores with low energy requirements compared with similar-sized mammals and an exceptional feeding apparatus and behavior.6,7 Common health problems which have been attributed to suboptimal nutrition are loose stool or diarrhea, anorexia, tongue tip constriction or vitamin K deficiency.4,8 Traditional, natural in-house diets typically include dog kibble, cereals, honey, milk products, meat and...

The use of fecal inoculum to determine the rate and extent of in vitro fermentation for cellulose, beet pulp, citrus pulp, and citrus pectin across three lemur species: Varecia variegate, Eulemur fulvus, and Hapalemur griseus

In order to estimate fermentative capacity among lemur species, four fiber substrates were tested across three herbivorous species: Eulemur fulvus, Hapalemur griseus, and Varecia variegata. Substrates were cellulose (CE), beet pulp (BP), citrus pulp (CP), and citrus pectin (PE), which ranged in composition from completely insoluble fiber (CE) to completely soluble fiber (PE), respectively. Animals were offered the same diet...

Considerations for ethical acquisition and treatment of feeder animals in zoos

Zoos, as a rule, have stringent standards for acquisition and care of the animals in their collection. Following this philosophy, it also is important to heed similar considerations for “feeder” animals. Feeder animals are those utilized to feed carnivorous and omnivorous collection animals that consume prey items as all, or part, of their diet. The purpose of this discussion is...

Preliminary investigations into circulating vitamin E concentrations in captive okapi (Okapia johnstoni)

Normal circulating vitamin E levels have not been established for okapi (Okapi johnstoni) on a captive diet. Blood samples were obtained in 1996 by the Okapi SSP for free-ranging okapi in Zaire (Lukas, 1996). In 2009, vitamin E levels were acquired for animals housed at the Epulu Station in the Democratic Republic of the Congo fed an all leaf diet...