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

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...

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...

Nutrition as a Major Facet of Reptile Conservation

The importance of nutrition has not received much recognition in conservation biology. However, captive breeding is only possible if nutritional requirements are met, and effective habitat management requires an evaluation of nutritional resources. Three examples involving reptile conservation are presented. The formulation and testing of experimental meal-type diets proved essential for the large scale rearing of green iguanas (Iguana iguana)...

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...

Advances in nutrient metals digestion using open and closed vessel microwave systems

Rapid technologically evolution in sensor, computer, and vessel enhancements have led to lower detection limits and residual carbon values for both open and closed vessel microwave techniques. Application of these technologies to the determination of nutrient metals (as well as nitrogen content) of food and feeds has shown that both high level (Fe, Zn, Cu) and important trace (Se, As,...

Ingestion of Viburnum x rhytidophylloides ‘Alleghany’ potentially lethal to White-Mantled Black Colobus (Colobus guereza)

In December of 2000, three white-mantled black colobus (Colobus guereza) housed at the Denver Zoological Gardens began showing indications of pain, and as a result, were removed from their facility and hospitalized. One animal died of gastric ulcers, however the others recovered with treatment. Light microscopic evaluation of gastric biopsies from one of the monkeys, showed inflammation of the mucosal...

Evaluation of a dietary alternative to fish for California Sea Lions (Zalophus c. californianus)

Obtaining a suitable diversity of food fish for feeding marine mammals is a major challenge for zoological institutions and marine parks. In recent years, several species of fish, which were once considered staples in diets of captive marine mammals are no longer available due to over-harvesting [Davis, 1999]. Although government agencies have taken measures to address this decline in natural...

Food Intake Patterns in Captive South African Fur Seals (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus)

Food intake data from 1990-94 from eight South African fur seals at the Metro Toronto Zoo were evaluated. From the data collected, fish species, total fish offered and total fish consumed were summarized on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis. Proximate analysis was performed on samples of each fish species. Gross energy intake (GEI) was determined based on the...

Application of a Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (NIR) to measure protein, fat and moisture in fish samples

Quality control programs need methods for simple and rapid analysis of feeds and ingredients. Near Infrared Reflectance (NIR) and Transmission (NIT) Spectroscopy have been previously used for the analyses of fish carcasses (Gjerde and Mathias. 1987; Valdes et al.. 1989 and Downey. 1995). NIR was applied to measure percent fat, protein and moisture in fish samples used for food in...

Digestive efficiency and passage rate in two propithecus species fed in a captive diet

The objective was to measure dry matter intake(DMI), digestibility, transit time (TT) and mean retention time (MRT) in captive P. v. coquereli (n=5, 3.7 ( 0.3kg) and P. tattersalli (n=2, 3.2 ( 0.03kg) while being fed a diet consisting of Mazuri Leafeater Primate Chow at 85% of DMI and sumac (Rhus copallina) at 15% of DMI. After a six-week diet...

General procedures and guidelines for hand rearing felid neonates

There are many reasons to hand rear felid neonates in a zoological setting. The criteria for doing so should be set in advance of parturition and all preparations made for the process. The possibility of illness or common ailment should be anticipated and plans should be made for routine veterinary checks. Staff involvement, feeding schedules, formula, feeding supplies and methods...

Do more with less: the value of developing a collaborative approach to nutrition-based research

In the last decade, there has been a gradual awareness that basic research on nutritional physiology and digestive strategies is essential for improving the management and care of zoo animals. However, few small or medium-sized AZA zoological institutions have been able to commit the financial resources and meet the logistical needs to staff and conduct these types of critical studies....

Growth curves and their implications in hand-rearing monk parrots (Myiopsitta monachus)

Monk parrots (Myiopsitta monachus) were hand-reared over two chick seasons spanning from 2010-2011. Information on the growth curve of chicks hand-raised in 2010 was used to develop a feeding protocol for the 2011 season. This protocol was focused to address the problem areas of delayed growth and then excessive growth experienced by the baby parrots hand-reared in 2010. The 2011...

Energetics and food needs of free-ranging wild mammals, birds, and reptiles

The minimum metabolic rates (“basal” for endotherms and “standard” for ectotherms) of birds, mammals and reptiles are determined mainly by body size (mass), but that explanation may not work for field metabolic rates (FMR, or total daily energy requirement), which include additional energetic costs of activity, temperature regulation, foraging and food digestion, growth and reproduction, and social interactions, along with...

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...

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...

Summary of mineral and iron binding polyphenolic plant compound levels in diets offered captive black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) in 3 zoos and 1 ranch in Texas

Hemosiderosis is commonly noted in captive black rhinoceros but not free-ranging animals. Animals held in a ranch setting, offered a diet containing at least 46% browse on a dry matter basis, do not experience the same health problems as animals in zoos. It is known that plants contain polyphenolic compounds that can bind iron and make it unavailable for absorption....

Effects of diet on nutritional content of whole vertebrate prey.

Proximate composition (moisture, lipid, protein, ash), vitamin A and vitamin E content, and six minerals (Cu, Fe, Zn, Mg, Mn, Ca) were measured in quail, rats, mice, and guinea pigs raised on at least two different diets per species. Feed composition varied substantially but erratically in lipid, vitamin A, vitamin E, and mineral content. All unsupplemented feeds had less vitamin...

Study of calcium metabolism in captive elephants by means of feeding trail

Hypocalcemia in elephants is a concern that needs attention. Cases of calcium-responsive dystocia have been reported anecdotally and the number of bone fractures in hospitalized working elephants in Thailand is relatively high. A feeding trial in 4 Asian elephants at the Rotterdam zoo showed that an increase in the calcium concentration of the roughage resulted in a significant rise in...

Plasma electrolyte concentration for African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) and their relationship to habitat type and salt supplementation

African penguins are common display animals in North American zoos and aquariums. At present 43 American Zoo and Aquarium (AZA) accredited institutions, maintaining over 700 African penguins, participate in a species survival plan (SSP) for this species. There are currently some institutions that maintain their birds in freshwater without salt supplementation. No associated health issues have been reported by these...

Chemical composition of Southeast Asian Colobine foods

Digestive disturbances have been considered a major health issue among captive colobines [Janssen, 1994; Calle et al., 1995]. Inadequate or inappropriate fiber sources may underlie some of these problems. Apart from maintaining normal gastrointestinal function [Van Soest, 1994 ], one critical issue in husbandry of these species is the necessity of providing a suitable diet for supporting pregastric [Stevens, 1988]...

Food safety and sanitation

Food Safety and Sanitation is a big aspect of our daily operation and by providing a safe and clean environment you can maintain quality food for the entire collection. The purpose is to help others understand that by doing everything possible to reduce and, or eliminate the threat of food-borne illnesses, that you can keep your food, equipment and staff...

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...

Pyramiding is not caused by excess calcium and/or phosphorus in young Red-eared sliders, Trachemys scripta elegans

Pyramiding, is a condition in which the scutes of the carapace of turtles become deformed and elevated, taking on a pyramid shape. Pyramiding is believed to be a nutritional problem, however its exact cause is unknown. Given that the turtle carapace is composed largely of bone, it was hypothesized that it may be caused by an imbalance in dietary calcium...

Effect of dietary soluble fiber on gut microbiota in the sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps): a pilot study

The sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps) is an exudativore in nature, eating plant gums, saps, resins, manna, and nectars as well as insect-based honeydew and lerp, with proportions of various ingredients highly dependent on seasonality and locale (Smith, 1982; Howard, 1989). Despite a well-developed cecum that could, in theory, harbor microbial populations with fermentative capabilities (Hume, 1999), a majority of captive...

Growth rates and nutrient intake of hand-rearing pink-backed pelicans (Pelecanus rufescens) at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Between December 18, 2006 and February 12, 2007, four pink-backed pelican (Pelecanus rufescens) chicks were hatched and hand reared at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (DAK). A pelican hand rearing protocol was developed based on that of the San Diego Zoological Society. The diet was designed to consist of combinations of capelin, smelt, sardines and herring, along with a vitamin and mineral...

The captive Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus): Nutritional considerations with emphasis on management of cystinuria

An important and widely recognized condition of the maned wolf is cystinuria, or excess levels of cystine in the urine. Cystinuria has been identified in the majority of maned wolves tested, both in captivity and in the wild. Cystinuria also occurs in humans and domestic dogs, and has been demonstrated in these species to have a genetic basis. In all...