SCARF Fundraiser – Monday Sept 30
2019 ZWNF/NAG Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition
Polar Bear Nutrition Guidelines
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

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...

The effects of fiber type and fiber levels on digestibility and volatile fatty acid formation in the Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus)

The diets of free-ranging orangutans are high in structural cell wall material, which comprises the fiber fraction in plants [Hamilton and Galdikas, 1994]. Microbial populations residing in the hindgut accomplish fiber digestion via fermentation. Animals use volatile fatty acids, end products of fiber fermentation, as a source of energy. Readily available produce items contain small amounts of fermentable fiber [Schmidt...

Nutritional composition of the diet of Alouatta palliate Mexicana females in different reproductive states

Observational data on the feeding and behavior of a semi free-ranging troop of mantled howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata mexicana) were collected and analyzed to determine whether differences exist in the nutritional composition of the diet of females at different reproductive states. The reproductive states selected for study were non-gestation (control), gestation, and lactation. Mean ingestion was calculated in grams/day and...

The interaction of diet, water chemistry, and disease state on the health of captive ornamental fish

Nutrition is an important modulator of immune function and can often tip the balance between health and disease. In order to maintain fish in aquaria, sound nutrition and adequate feeding are essential to fish health as clinical disease often ensues when nutritional needs are not met. Diets that are adequate with respect to essential nutrients can hasten recovery from infection,...

Commentary- Skepticism and science: responsibilities of the comparative nutritionist

Comparative nutritionists are asked to formulate diets for over 3,000 species of animals,including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates. Little research has been conducted to provide an information base for this task, and both popular and scientific publications contain factual errors and irrational concepts that confuse the user. When data are suspect and theories do not make sense, they...

Evaluating gut-loading diets and dusting to improve the calcium concentration of pin-head and adult crickets (Acheta domesticus)

Four experiments were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of dusting crickets with calcium carbonate versus feeding a custom or commercial high-calcium diet on the calcium and phosphorus concentration of pin-head (13.7 mg) and juvenile (320.9 mg) crickets. Crickets were housed in 37.9 L aquariums, provided with water and egg crates for hiding, maintained on a 12 h light: 12 h...

Role of nutrition programs in zoological institutions

There is nothing more fundamental to the care of wild animals in captivity than the need to provide an adequate and appropriate diet. The impact of nutrition on the physical and psychological health, productivity and longevity of wild animals in captivity has been clearly recognized. Contributions to in situ conservation programs made by individuals professionally trained in nutritional sciences, and...

Carotenoid Gut-Loading of Crickets and Mealworms

The lack of diversity of invertebrate prey items available to feed captive animals limits available nutrients, requiring manipulation of the diet fed to these prey items prior to offering to other animals. Of late, much of the gut-loading research and recommendations focused on correcting the Ca:P imbalance inherent to the insects available through commercial production. More recently, attention has shifted...

Preference of supplemental nectar by three native butterfly species

Two diets, a sugar-water solution (Diet A) and nutritionally complete nectar solution (Diet B), provided in a mixed species enclosure as a source of nutrients for multiple nectivorous species were evaluated for preference among three North American species of butterflies. Preference was defined as number of visits to one of two nectar feeders. The feeder containing Diet B was preferentially...

Nutritional analysis of mixed produce for exotic species using near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS)

Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (NIRS) has long been established as a fast, easy, and cost effective technology for measuring basic organic components utilized in diet formulations. In zoological facilities, accurate timely quality control of diet ingredients, including highly variable items and those with a short shelf life, such as produce, can be difficult. We utilized traditional wet chemistry data from...

Sequencing the Black Rhino L-Ferritin Gene: How Accurate is Our Testing?

Black rhinoceros under human care must be monitored for their iron status due to detrimental but poorly epidemiologically documented consequences of iron overload disorder. The recommended approach to assessing iron status in black rhinoceros examines transferrin saturation and ferritin, a species-specific protein, known to be an iron carrier as well as an acute- phase reactant.  Kansas State University Diagnostic Veterinary...

You can’t get blood from a stone, but you need to get it somewhere- vampire bat (Desmondus rotundus) feeding logistics

The beef blood collection procedures for three AZA zoological institutions to feed Desmodus rotundus are reviewed. Blood collected for the Philadelphia Zoo is done at slaughter and an anticoagulant is added. Blood collected for the Cincinnati Zoo is also done at slaughter but no anticoagulant is added and blood collected for the Brookfield Zoo is taken from live animals within...

Iron Storage Disease in Lemurs

A syndrome of excessive iron accumulation (hemosiderosis) was first recognized in lemurs as early as the 1960’s but descriptive reports of the condition were no t published until the 1980’s.1,4,11 The most well-known of these is a publication by Spelman et al. (1989) who reported 100% incidence of hemosiderosis in captive lemurs from the institution in her study.11 As a...

Variation in serum ferritin, serum iron, total iron binding capacity (TIBC) and percent transferrin saturation in Northern Fur Seals: a retrospective study

Hemochromatosis is an excessive accumulation of iron in tissues, particularly liver, and is associated with the development of hepatic lesions. The term hemosiderosis is used when there are no toxic effects of the iron accumulation. Both conditions have been observed in free-ranging and captive specimens of many species (Lowensteine and Munson 1999). Histopathologic analysis of tissues obtained from two aged...

Analyses of Diet and Serum Mineral Concentrations in African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) Housed at the NC Zoo

Elephants in human care (Loxodonta africana) are often over conditioned. Consequently, many zoos aim for reduced caloric intake and increased activity levels. Diets containing higher dietary browse and forage percentages with lower inclusion of pelleted components may stimulate increased foraging behavior. However, feeding increased browse with unknown nutrient profiles while decreasing pelleted nutritionally complete feed could prove problematic with respect...

Nutrition and immunity: vitamins and minerals

Infectious diseases impinge on animal health and welfare. Appropriate nutrition may aid in minimizing the incidence of infectious diseases by optimizing immunity. Formulating diets that optimize immunity requires knowing the specific cellular mechanisms by which nutrients affect immunity, and how these mechanisms pertain to specific nutrients and pathogens. Understanding the nuances of nutrition and immunity is important because higher dietary...

Interpreting vitamins and mineral concentrations in serum of exotic species: lab values are not infallible

The prospect of trust and laboratory analysis is often so frightening a concept, scientists in the zoo field, including nutritionists and veterinarians, do not discuss it as more than a side note. Often we trust that specialists in biochemistry and new analysis technologies ensure proper verification of lab methodology, and would inform the consumer of any difficulties or questionable data....

Comparative serum analysis of free-ranging and managed green moray eels (Gymnothorax funebris) and relationship to diet fed to eels under human care

Green moray eels (Gymnothorax funebris) under human care are reported to have elevated plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations with associated development of lipid keratopathy (Clode et al. 2012). Nevertheless, serum trace mineral and vitamin analyses have not been assessed, and the complete nutrient content (cholesterol, vitamins, and minerals) of managed eel diets has also not been reported (Clode et al....

Nutritional requirements of adult palm cockatoos

The nutrition section is based on a questionnaire that was distributed in 1992 to facilities that have bred or displayed palm cockatoos, on general knowledge of the nutritional requirements of birds (in particular successful diets and practices with psittacines), and on what has been observed with palm cockatoos at ABRC over the years.

NUTRIENT STABILITY OVER TIME IN MANUFACTURED FEEDS

Understanding nutrient stability over time is of critical importance when determining the shelf life of animal feed. Trials examining nutrient stability are difficult to manage because of the long duration of trials, particularly if multiple environmental conditions are examined. It is well known that a variety of factors including temperature, humidity, light, and interactions between nutrients (e.g., oxidation of fat...

Diet Charts: The Keeper’s Tool and Aide

For most institutions, whether public or private, conservation of endangered species is a high priority. Conservationist will use a variety of tools available to aid them in meeting their goals. Healthy reproductive animals are vital to the management of a viable captive population. One important tool, integral to successful survivorship of animals in our care, is dietary monitoring. One of...

Polar bears: aspects of handrearing

Zoos faced with the issue of handrearing polar bear cubs have found success with various formulas. Despite many common ingredients in zoos’ polar bear milk replacers, adjustments were made to accommodate specific medical or nutritional needs of the cub(s), and consequently there were differences in solids/energy offered and weaning age. Cubs from three institutions (San Francisco, Brookfield, and San Diego...

Sequencing the Black Rhino L-Ferritin Gene: How Accurate is our Testing?

Black rhinoceros under human care must be monitored for their iron status due to detrimental but poorly epidemiologically documented consequences of iron overload disorder. The recommended approach to assessing iron status in black rhinoceros examines transferrin saturation and ferritin, a species-specific protein, known to be an iron carrier as well as an acute- phase reactant.  Kansas State University Diagnostic Veterinary...

BIOACTIVE FACTORS IN MILK: COMPARISONS ACROSS NONHUMAN PRIMATES AND HUMANS

Milk is not just a food, but also a means by which mammalian mothers signal biochemically to their offspring. Milk contains a host of signaling molecules that influence growth and development of offspring. Some of these signaling molecules have been implicated as risk factors or as being protective against the early development of metabolic diseases in humans, such as obesity...

Ideal protein and zoo carnivores: further considerations for optimizing diets

Carnivorous zoo species are often fed “natural product” diets, i.e. raw meat-based meals for large felids, whole vertebrate prey, entire fish for aquatic or otherwise piscivorous species, and/or a variety of invertebrates consumed by insectivores. In general, these types of diets contain relative excess protein compared to nutritional requirements established for domestic cats and dogs, (NRC, 2006) or production species...

Differences in gut microflora between captive and wild birds: Are we getting the captive balance right?

The microbiota of the vertebrate gastrointestinal tract consists of a diverse collection of microbial species. In the past, identification of these species has involved cultivation-based techniques. However, due to the dependence upon bacteria-specific media during cultivation, up to 80% of species may not have been identified using these techniques. To overcome this bias, a DNA-based technique of identifying microbial communities...

Evaluation of season of harvest and water addition on forage quality of willow (Salix caroliniana) processed for silage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The objective of this study was to evaluate two seasons of harvest and water addition at the time of ensiling on silage quality of Carolina willow (Salix caroliniana). If successful, willow silage could be used as a supplement during the winter months for some browse-consuming animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The experiment consisted of two harvest seasons and two moisture...