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

Small ruminants: digestive capacity differences among four species weighing less than 20 Kg

Small ruminants are generally classified as either browsers or frugivores. We compared intake and digestion in one browsing species, the pudu (Pudu pudu), body weight 9 kg, and three frugivorous species, the red brocket (Mazama americana), 20kg, the bay duiker (Cephalophus dorsalis), 12kg, and Maxwell’s duiker (C. maxwellii), 9 kg. Rations comprised: a commercial grain and alfalfa pellet, a small...

Fiber digestibility in black lemurs (Eulemur Macaco Macaco)

Black lemurs are classified as generalist feeders, existing on both fruits and leaves depending upon seasonal availability. In captivity they are typically fed a diet of commercially manufactured primate biscuits and readily available produce, both of which are limited in fermentable fiber. Digestibility trials were conducted on fourteen black lemurs, housed in 4 groups (4, 3, 3 & 2) and...

Managing zoo diet information: introducing the next generation of software

We all want to feed our animals well. Yet within zoos and aquariums different stakeholders concentrate on different aspects of feeding; some may be mostly concerned with the nutrient content, others with the way food is presented. The physical and behavioral health of animals may be a principal focus and sustainability, efficiency and costs are becoming increasingly significant drivers. Obviously...

Evaluation and Reformulation of Diets for Captive Aye-Aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)

The feeding choices of wild aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) have been studied recently and found to include insects, insect larvae, nuts, bark, fungi, and fruits. Proximate analyses, some mineral, and some fat-soluble vitamin analyses of commonly consumed food items have been performed on these choices but there are no published data available which have quantified nutrient intake in captivity in relation...

Preliminary report on the quantification of ultraviolet-B radiation from artificial light sources over time

The term “metabolic bone disease” encompasses a variety of bone-related diseases, including rickets, osteomalacia, osteopenia, and osteoporosis, all of which are associated with a weakening of bone structure. Metabolic bone disease is considered a serious health problem among certain species of captive reptiles. The occurrence of metabolic bone disease is believed to be due to insufficient concentrations of circulating vitamin...

Napoleon didn’t conquer Europe by feeding his army rotten tomatoes or how to get the most from your produce investment

Proper handling and storage of produce items can increase shelf life thus positively impacting budget. At the Saint Louis Zoo we have tried various approaches to storage and have a system that works well for us. From which items to hold in the Kitchen area and to which produce items to hold in the cooler and the storage method that extends product integrity,...

TSE’S – U.S. enforcement strategies and what they mean to you

In response to concerns by the World Health Organization, and various other authorities around the globe, over the threat of additional transmissible spongiform encephalopathy epidemics, Federal regulation now prohibits the use of proteins derived from mammalian tissue in feed for ruminant animals. This regulation removes those animal proteins from Generally Recognized As Safe status and relocates them as food additives...

Biochemical and physiological observations in meerkats (Suricata suricatta) at two zoos during dietary transition to a diet designed for insectivores

These studies assess the short-term and long-term effects of a commercially available manufactured diet (Mazuri® Insectivore, PMI Nutrition International, P.O. Box 66812, St. Louis, MO 63166-6812) intended for the feeding of insectivorous animals. The initial study evaluated palatability of the diet and the maintenance of health in captive meerkats over a 6-week period.

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...

Body condition scoring of captive (zoo) equids

Obesity in captive wild equids may result from forage diets that are higher in energy, over-fed and not fed according to BW. In addition, processed forages are supplemented or substituted for long-stem forage diets and differences in feeding management are not considered. The scoring system used for domestic horses has been used and modified for captive (zoo) equids. The nine-point...

Validation of a radioimmunoassay for Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) insulin

Insulin is a principle mediator of metabolic and reproductive function and could provide an indicator for health status in elephants as in humans, equines and other species. This study was intended to validate a radioimmunoassay for insulin in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Four Asian elephant cows (age 11-39 y) at the Fort Worth Zoo were fed coastal hay only overnight,...

Secondary compounds in foods selected by free-ranging primates on St. Catherines Island, GA

The foraging behavior of two groups of free-ranging primates, ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and lion-tailed macaques (Macaca silenus), residing on St. Catherines Island Wildlife Center, Georgia was observed seasonally at quarterly intervals for one year. Each group (N=13, N=9, respectively) had unlimited access to native flora and fauna in addition to a daily provisional diet. Representative samples of non-provisioned items...

Conversion of six domestic ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) from commercial cat foods to a commercial domestic ferret food: a food acceptance trial

For years the Philadelphia Zoo struggled to find a simple, palatable diet for the domestic ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) in the Philadelphia Zoo collection. The ferrets are used in the zoos education program and housed at the Children’s Zoo. Many of the animal caretakers at the Children’s Zoo are volunteers; thus, the animals are cared for by a number of...

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...

BROWSE – HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH? THE CHALLENGES OF ASSESSING BROWSE INTAKE

Browse is an important dietary component for many herbivore diets. Animals such as giraffe, black rhino, kudu, bongo, gerenuk, porcupines and many others consume a significant amount of browse as their natural diet. Providing sufficient quantities and appropriate browse species is one of the most challenging aspects of feeding animal collections in a zoological setting. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we...

Which way forward for European zoo nutrition?

There are approximately 1000 zoos in Europe ranging from large, extensive zoos to smaller private collections. Of these, 256 are members of the European Association of Zoos and Aquarium (EAZA). EAZA is involved in all aspects of maintaining animals in captivity in zoos and aquarium, including the conservation of threatened species. Just as AZA has established Species Survival Plan (SSP)...

Feeding browse to large zoo herbivores: How much is “A lot”, How much is “Sufficient”?

Diet evaluations in captive browsers are often confounded by the fact that the amount of browse offered is difficult to quantify, especially if whole branches are fed. For a diet survey in captive moose (Alces alces), we established correlations between the diameter at point of cutting of a branch and the amount of foliage and edible twigs on it.

Associations of Zoos & Aquarium’s animal care manuals: What is the nutrition advisory group’s role?

The Species Survival Plan ® (SSP) or Taxon Advisory Group (TAG) is responsible for creating and updating information on their prospective species. It is important to assemble this information in a systematic and consistent manner. In 2005, the Association of Zoo & Aquariums (AZA) created standardized guidelines. Considering the exact nutrient requirements of many exotic animals held in captivity are...

Age Changes in Digestibility of Nutrients in Ostriches

Age Changes in Digestibility of Nutrients in Ostriches Roselina Angel Purina Mills Inc., St. Louis, Missouri A digestibility study was conducted with 3-, 6-, 10-, and 17- week old and 30 month old ostriches. Two methods were used to determine digestibility: the total excreta collection method and a marker method, using chromic oxide. No significant difference between methods used to...

Evaluation of vitamin A status and diagnosis of hypovitaminosis A in amphibians

Without supplementation, insect-based diets for amphibians and reptiles are known to be deficient in nutrients such as calcium and vitamin A (Livingston et al., 2014). In the last decade, hypovitaminosis A has been recognized as a limiting factor for amphibian conservation programs that must successfully maintain and breed endangered species for ex situ rescue, survival assurance, and reintroduction programs (Pessier,...

Milk composition and lactation strategies across mammalian taxa: implications for hand-rearing neonates

The two major features of mammalian reproduction are viviparity and lactation (milk production); of these, only lactation is both unique to mammals and occurs in all living species of mammals. Milk is the complex lacteal secretion of the mammary gland responsible for the provision of nutrients and energy to the growing neonate. Once adopted during the course of mammalian evolution,...

Dietary husbandry of captive white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in the Northern USA and Canada must consider effects of daylength, age, and gender on tissue energy reserves

The effects of age, season, and gender on live body weights, lipogenesis and lipolysis in subcutaneous and perirenal adipose tissues, and weight and fat (ether extract) concentrations of skeletal muscles and viscera were studied in 48 captive white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) fed a complete diet ad libitum. Food intake, rates of lipogenesis, and accumulation of fat in skeletal muscle and...

Removing milk from captive gorilla diets: the impact on regurgitation and reingestion (R/R) and other behaviors

To test whether milk consumption facilitates performance of regurgitation and reingestion (R/R) in captive gorillas, an experiment was conducted in which milk was removed from the gorilla diet at Zoo Atlanta. The study was conducted using a withdrawal design (BTB), in which a baseline period (B) of 10 days was followed by a treatment period (T) of 10 days, followed...

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...

Investigations into the nutritional composition of moon jellyfish, Aurelia aurita

Proximate nutrients, fat-soluble vitamins A and E, and mineral composition of the moon jellyfish, Aurelia aurita, were measured in wild specimens from Jamaica Bay, NY, and in captive cultured specimens from the New York Aquarium (reported as mean ± SE). Crude protein content of free-ranging jellyfish was approximately twice that seen in captive animals (9.20% ± 0.40% dry matter (DM)...

Comparative Nutrition of Grizzly and Black Bears

The basic nutrition of North American bears is poorly understood because most research has been limited to field studies describing natural history and a few projects focusing on hibernation in captive animals. The facilities necessary for extensive nutrition research with captive bears have been lacking, but in 1986 Washington State University, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S....

Nutrition of the Tamandua: I. Nutrient Composition of Termites (Nasutitermes spp.) and Stomach Contents from Wild Tamanduas (Tamandua tetradactyla)

Arboreal termites (Nasutitermes spp.) and stomach contents from tamanduas (Tamandua tetradactyla) were collected in central Venezuela during the mid part of the dry-season (March) of 1993 and 1994. Nutritional analyses were performed on each caste (workers, soldiers, alates), on mixed caste samples, and on stomach contents from live and road-kill tamanduas. The chemical analyses, expressed on a dry matter (DM)...

Nutrient composition of whole crayfish eaten by hellbender salamanders (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis spp.)

Four species of native Missouri crayfish identified as foods of the Ozark hellbender salamander (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis bishopi), were analyzed for nutrient content including water, proximate composition (crude protein, crude fat, crude fiber, and ash), as well as vitamin A, vitamin E, total carotenoids, and select mineral concentrations. Additionally, fatty acids in crayfish were examined and compared with krill as a...

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....