Toronto Zoo Announces ZWNF Resident
Assessing the Nutritional Welfare and Status of Animals
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

Monoozygenase conversion in two anura species

It is unknown whether pro-vitamin A supplements used in captive diets of amphibian insectivores provide the animals with nutrients they can convert for their vitamin A needs. This research sought to evaluate if activity of ?–carotene 15,15’-monooxygenase was present in the liver and small intestine of two anura species, as gauged by the conversion of ?–carotene to retinal. Liver and...

Evaluation of the Nutritional Adequacy of Three Diets Fed to the Black-footed Ferrets (Mustela nigripes) at the Metro Toronto Zoo

Previous work at the Metro Toronto Zoo (Oyarzun et al., 1995) has found that the nutrient concentration in the Metro Toronto Zoo (MTZ) diet fed to the SSP Black-footed ferrets {BFF, Mustela nigripes) met or greatly exceeded the daily recommendations established for mink (NRC, 1982) as well as nutrient levels reported in the BFF natural diet (Dierenfeld & McGuire, 1989)....

The impact of nutritional factors on the development of phosphatic uroliths using meat goats as a model for captive giraffes

Obstructive urolithiasis is a documented problem in domestic ruminants, such as the meat goat, and exotic herbivores, such as captive giraffe. These two species develop phosphorus based uroliths and are considered browsing ruminants. Due to the logistical challenges of performing studies with captive giraffe, a metabolic trial was conducted using meat goats as a model. The intent of this study...

DIET DIGESTIBILITY IN COLOBINE MONKEYS: IMPLICATIONS FOR DIETS AND DIETARY RECOMMENDATIONS

This study quantified the composition and diet digestibility of 19 diets consumed by 11 groups of colobine monkeys (four species: Colobus guereza, Trachypithecus obscurus, Colobus angolensis, and Rhinopithecus bieti) in the US and in China. Each digestibility trial had a 10- day adaptation period and a three-day collection period. The diets consumed averaged 17.1 ± 0.9% crude protein, 24.4 ±...

Dietary taurine supplementation and cardiac function in the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla): preliminary findings

Taurine is not considered an essential amino acid in most mammals as it can be synthesized from cysteine. Cats are an exception, lacking an enzyme necessary for this conversion and a lack of dietary taurine has been linked to central retinal degeneration and dilated cardiomyopathy. This form of feline cardiomyopathy is reversible with a dietary taurine supplement. More recently, a...

Kori bustard nutrition and dietary husbandry

Kori bustards (Ardeotis kori) are reported to be omnivorous, consuming mostly insect and plant material in their grassland habitat. A complete nutrient analysis of these food items and their contribution to the overall diet has not been determined. The gastrointestinal tract of the kori is typical of an insectivorous bird, but to date they have been fed in captivity as...

The effect of fish analog diet on beluga whale (Delpinapterus leucas) health and body condition

In zoos and aquariums the staple diet for marine mammals is freshly thawed, previously frozen fish and squid. Feeding a variety of fish to captive piscivores can be a major challenge to institutions, due to cost and availability thereby making a readily available prepared fish analogbased diet very appealing. Past studies feeding the Mazuri® fish analog product (PMI IntI, St....

Preliminary efforts on hand-rearing three species of flamingos

Between 2002 and 2005, the Fort Worth Zoo has hand-reared 37 flamingo chicks: nine Caribbean (Phoenicopterus ruber ruber), seventeen lesser (Phoeniconaias minor), and eleven Chilean (Phoenicopterus chilensis). The chicks were raised from hatching to the point of self-feeding. Body weight and formula consumption were measured daily. Feeding schedule transitions (from ten feedings per day to weaning) were based on body...

Nutritional and physical characteristics of commercial hand-feeding formulas for parrots

Hand-rearing is a common practice for the propagation of psittacines, however, research on their nutrition is limited and the neonatal requirements are not well understood. We analyzed the nutrient composition and physical characteristics of 15 commercially available parrot handfeeding formulas. Formulas were compared with the average nutritional content of the crops of free living Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) chicks. When the formulas were prepared...

Nutritional management of healthy senior wild felines: using the domestic cat as a model

Nutritional adjustments that might promote health and slow progression or onset of disease (e.g. chronic renal disease, CRD) and improve quality of life in senior wild felines are being presently tested at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (DAK). The idea is based on studies done with domestic cats aimed at controlling the symptoms of CRD (Carey, 1998). We expect to continue long...

Milk composition of the white rhinoceros (Cerathotherium simum) through the first year of lactation

Lactation is a fundamental adaptation of mammals with milk being the first food for all mammals and the diversity of mammals is reflected in the diversity of lactation strategies and in the composition of milks from different species (Hayssen 1992). Although all milks have the same basic nutrients in common, the proportion of fat, sugar, protein and minerals varies widely...

Paca feeding in captivity

The paca (Cuniculus paca) is the biggest rodent in Costa Rica. During 2009 and 2010, a national survey was carried out to determine the actual nutritional management of this species. Diet ingredients and proportions were surveyed by region and the composition categorized and analyzed for 64 farms and 558 animals. Diets offered varied in ingredients including produce (fruits, tubercules, legumes),...

Aquatic animal supplementation practices – survey results and recommendations

Aquatic animals have been maintained under human care for centuries. Limitations in the variety of foods available to feed to these animals as well as the use of frozen/thawed diets make supplementation of some nutrients necessary. Limited research has been done on what vitamins or minerals are necessary and in what amounts. There are no standardized requirements or recommended daily...

Hypovitaminosis A: influence of three diets or topical treatment on hepatic, adipose, and plasma retinoid concentrations and presence of squamous metaplasia in Mississippi gopher frogs (Rana capito servosa)

Hypovitaminosis A has been linked to health concerns in amphibians causing squamous metaplasia of the tongue, bladder, kidneys and other organs. Juvenile Mississippi Gopher Frogs (Rana capito servosa) at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium (n = 32) were randomly assigned to one of four vitamin A treatment groups including three dietary feeder cricket treatments and one topical vitamin A...

Development of hand-rearing techniques for Roseate Spoonbills, Ajaia ajaja, at the Fort Worth Zoo

The Fort Worth Zoo has held a breeding flock of roseate spoonbills (Ajaia ajaja), since the 1960’s and has had more success breeding and parent-rearing roseate spoonbills (Ajaia ajaja), than any other institution worldwide. To infuse new genetic material into the North American population, Fort Worth began collecting hatchlings and eggs from free-ranging birds for hand- rearing. Fledglings were first...

Stronger than yesterday: new nutrient recommendations for lorisine primates

Asia’s slow lorises (Nycticebus spp.) are heavily impacted by the illegal wildlife trade in Southeast Asia. Confiscated lorises by Customs officials find themselves in rescue centers with approximately 50% of them having had their lower teeth removed by the poachers and must remain in the rescue centre indefinitely, if they survive. Reintroductions do occur but success is very low. Despite...

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.

The effect of adding browse to the diet of moose (Alces alces) at the Toronto Zoo on their daily behaviour patterns

The Toronto Zoo has had moose in its collection since opening in 1974, and has since struggled with the issues of chronic diarrhea and Wasting Syndrome Complex that have been readily reported at other institutions. After numerous dietary alterations it was found that only by feeding limited amounts of an aspen–based concentrate, and no other food item, could these problems...

Evaluation of a commercial vitamin and mineral supplement in milk replacers on serum nutrients in pre-ruminants

Since opening in May 1972, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park has hand-raised hundreds of ruminant neonates. In order to improve success rates and generate appropriate protocols with any hand-reared neonate species, it is important to document each animal’s daily status and changes implemented to husbandry practices with each experience. Milk formula composition and consumption, solid-food intake, body weights, and...

Possible Dietary Influence on Hepatobiliary Cancer in Sloth Bears (Melursus ursinus)

Compared with other bear species, sloth bears have an unusually high incidence of hepatobiliary neoplasms in captivity. Due to their highly specialized diet in the wild, there is a possibility that in captivity their diet may cause or promote hepatobiliary carcinogenesis and/or may lack certain food components which may inhibit carcinogenesis. A survey among zoos keeping sloth bears shows that...

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...

Nutrient content of nutritional supplements available for use in captive lizard feeding programs

To provide a nutritionally complete diet to insectivorous lizards, allow animal managers and nutritionists to evaluate their current diets, and provide complete diet information for all zoos to use, nutrient content of supplements used for invertebrate-based lizard diets was determined. The first step of this process was to develop a list of supplements commonly used and determine the extent to...

Selection of proper feeds to assist in the dental management of carnivores

Proper dental care of carnivores in a zoological setting is of utmost concern among zoo professionals. Dental health is based on nutrition, environment, and overall animal health. This paper deals with the nutritional aspect of carnivore health. Zoo carnivores are able to survive on a variety of diets in captivity, but in order to assure proper dental health, feeds which...

A preliminary evaluation of a hand-rearing formula for southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum) calves

Exotic neonates may be hand-raised in captivity for various reasons. Records and evaluations of these hand-rearing efforts, the protocols used to achieve typical species growth and behavior, and data on the composition of mother’s milk, are needed to increase the success of hand-rearing a number of exotic species, including the southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum). Disney’s Animal Kingdom (DAK)...

Feeding strategies in wild carnivores: progress report of a model approach

Feeding strategies among wild carnivores are still partly unexplained. Carnivore mass is a determining factor in the choice for a specific range in prey size (Carbone et al., 1999). According to Carbone et al. (2007), two dietary groups can be distinguished: small carnivores hunting on small prey (< 20 kg) and large carnivores hunting on large prey (> 20 kg)....