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

Serum fatty acids concentrations in free-ranging and captive giraffe (Giraffa Camelopardalis)

Serum concentrations of fatty acids in captive giraffes were compared to values obtained from free-ranging giraffes in an effort to identify potential nutritional differences in the captive population. Captive giraffes have a specific set of maladies, including peracute mortality, energy malnutrition, pancreatic disease, urolithiasis, hoof disease, and severe intestinal parasitism that may be nutritionally related. Serum samples from 20 captive...

Sustainability issues come home: choosing seafood for zoo and aquarium animals

It has been have taken for granted that wild populations of seafood species would always be readily available. Unfortunately, there are limitations and a continued trend in the decline of fish populations both in the United States and around the globe. At the same time, the demand for seafood is increasing. Captive piscivorous animals must be provided with seafood to...

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...

FAUNA: DIET MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE FOR HEALTHY ANIMALS

We all want to feed our animals well; 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. Recording and...

Chronicle of zoological classification of mammals

The interest of humans in grouping animals has been an issue since before Christian times. Grouping animals based on their relationship to humans is probably the most primitive sign of classification (e.g., edible or inedible, dangerous or docile, wild or domestic, and so on). Officially, the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, Article 3, establishes the beginning of zoological nomenclature to...

COMMISSARY DESIGN: A TALE OF TWO COMMISSARIES

“It [is] the best of times, it [is] the worst of times,” to paraphrase Charles Dickens. Designing a commissary is one of the most important and long lasting effects a commissary manager and/or nutritionist can have on a nutrition program. While specific details will vary by institution and by program, the basic considerations are similar. Experiences during planning and construction...

Nutrient composition of savannahs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge at Lake Buena Vista Florida is home to a wide variety of animal species. Rooms at the Lodge look out over three savannah areas housing a collection of African animals. In spring 2006, a comprehensive investigation into the nutrient composition of the savannahs at the Lodge was initiated. Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon), bahia grass (Paspalum notatum)...

Diet-induced diabetes in captive plains viscachas (Lagostomus maximus)

Plains viscachas (Lagostomus maximus) are large, nocturnal rodents that inhabit the pampas of Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina. They are considered to feed on poor quality food in the wild: grass, forbs and bushes. Plains viscachas have been kept and bred at Zurich Zoo since 1964 and have shown the tendency to develop a type II diabetes mellitus, which was supposedly...

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...

Evaluation of type I and II collagen biomarkers for the detection of joint pathology in elephants

The first objective of this trial was to evaluate whether biomarkers for type I and type II collagen were detectable in elephant serum samples. Two commercially available enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent (ELISA) assays for the detection of the crosslinking telopeptides of type I collagen (CTX-I) and type II collagen (CTX-II) were validated for use with elephant sera. The second objective was to...

Effect of dietary fiber concentration on apparent digestibility and digesta passage in non-human primates. II. Hindgut-and Foregut fermenting folivores.

Two test diets with different acid detergent fiber (ADF) concentrations (15% ADF, 30% ADF) were fed to seven adult hindgut- and seven adult foregut-fermenting primates. Apparent digestibilities (%) of dietary dry matter (DM), gross energy (GE), and fiber components (neutral detergent fiber [NDF], ADF, hemicellulose [HC], and cellulose [C]) were measured. Rates of digesta transit (TT1) and retention (RGIT) times...

Do maintenance energy requirements of felids reflect their feeding strategies?

Maintenance energy (ME)requirements have been determined for the domestic cat, Felis silvestris catus, but not for larger felids. To determine if the domestic cat represents an appropriate model for studies with larger species, we measured digestive efficiency and digestible energy intakes in cats of different body sizes (body mass range: 15-195 kg)which included clouded leopard, Neofelis nebulosa (n = 9),...

Palatability of bucker ensiled willow as a winter diet item for browsing herbivores

Browsing herbivores in zoological institutions may be severely limited in the amount of natural browse offered, especially in winter months, with implications for gastrointestinal and overall animal health. A large quantity of freshly cut willow browse (~6100 kg) was ensiled in June 2010 after chipping the product into a lined 15’ x 6’ x 6’ container with molasses (~4% of...

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...

A novel approach for hand-rearing Chilean flamingos (Phoenicopterus chilensis)

A hand-rearing protocol was developed based on progressive series of food items offered to parent-reared flamingo chicks. Two (0.2) Chilean flamingos (Phoenicopterus chilensis) were hand-reared due to parental neglect and medical management starting at 24 and 32 days of age. The hand-rearing formula was based on ground Flamingo 24 (Zoological Society of San Diego, San Diego CA 92112 USA), Zoologic...

Relationship between feeding time and food intake in hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas) and the value of feeding time as predictor of food intake.

The relationship among time spent feeding, number of feeding bouts, feeding bout length, and the amount of food ingested was determined in a study of 18 hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas) at the German Primate Center (DPZ). There was considerable within- and between-subject variation in all four variables. Feeding time and number of feeding bouts could explain only 30% and 40%,...

Penguin diet and nutrition

Meeting the nutritional needs of penguins is essential if they are to survive and reproduce in captivity. Developing appropriate dietary guidelines involves using information 1) from feeding ecology data, 2) from published nutrient requirement data 3) on food availability to zoos and 4) on food preference. It is also essential to store and process food items correctly and provision the...

Development of a rumen fluid preservation technique and application to an in vitro dry matter digestibility assay

The objective of this study was to develop a rumen-fluid freezing and thawing protocol to be used with a two-stage in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD) assay. Rumen fluid was collected on three different days (one week apart) from a domestic steer (Bos taurus) and preserved via freezing, freezing with 5% glycerol (GLY) or freezing with 5% glycerol plus 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....

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. ...

Normal urinary mineral excretion levels in African elephants (Loxodonta africana)

Metabolic bone disease has occurred in several incidences of elephant neonates hand-reared on milk replacement formula. Monitoring for metabolic bone disease historically has been done through serum calcium and phosphorus concentrations. Serum concentrations are tightly regulated and changes in concentration are typically not evident until skeletal changes have already occurred. Urinary calcium and phosphorus excretion levels may provide earlier evidence...

USDA Animal Welfare Inspection Guide

The purpose of the Animal Welfare Inspection Guide is to provide an aid for APHIS Animal Care personnel when inspecting USDA licensed and registered facilities. The Inspection Guide is not a regulation and does not rise to the level of policy. It serves as a tool to improve the quality and uniformity of inspections, documentation, and enforcement of the Animal...

The USDA recently released their latest guidelines for monitoring animal welfare.

Effects of Diet on Nutritional Content of Prey Species fed to Captive Raptors

We measured proximate composition (moisture, lipid, protein, ash), vitamin A and vitamin E content, and six minerals (Cu, Fe, Zn, Mg, Mn, Ca) in quail, rats, mice and guinea pigs raised on at least two different diets per species. The objectives of this work were 1) to assess the variability of nutrient composition in some commonly used, commercially available diets,...

A comparative study of blood lipids, electrolytes, and stress levels between captive and semi-captive orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) under tropical conditions

Blood samples were collected from 27 orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) (14 captive and 13 semicaptive) and were analyzed for triglycerides, total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLC), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLC), sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, phosphate, glucose, Cortisol levels, total white blood cells (WBC) and WBC differential count. There were significant differences (P<0.05) in total cholesterol and HDLC level between...

Association of enterolith formation relative to water source pH consumed by wild equids under captive conditions

Intestinal disorders associated with enteroliths in domestic and wild equids have perpetuated folklore feeding practices in the western U.S. Enteroliths are stones formed in the large intestine, consisting primarily of magnesium ammonium phosphate [Mg(NH4)(PO4) – 6H20]. The frequency of enteroliths reported in clinical cases and necropsy reports among captive equids at the Zoological Society of San Diego appears to be...

“We’re gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse” or; contract purchasing

Purchasing contracts are an integral part of a Nutrition program’s procurement arsenal. Versatile and adaptive, they are one way to secure a consistent source and pricing of a product. However they can also be limiting and result in delivery of an inferior, albeit more economical, product. We will examine the advantages and disadvantages of contract purchasing and development of specification...

Development of an artificial diet to support conservation efforts of the Atala Hairstreak Butterfly (Eumaeus atala)

The rare atala  hairstreak  butterfly  (Eumaeus  atala)  is  native  to  Florida,  and  coontie,  a  small  cycad,  is  its  only  native  host  plant.  In  the  early  1900’s,  coontie  was  eradicated  due  to  unsustainable  agricultural  practices,  so  atala  populations  plummeted.    The  butterfly  was  thought  to  be  extinct  in  the  mid-1900s  but  has  seen  a  comeback  since  its  rediscovery  near  Miami  in  the ...

Highlighting conservation nutrition: the Saint Louis Zoo’s Orthwein Animal Nutrition Center

The Saint Louis Zoo’s high standard for animal care is evidenced by the opening of its Orthwein Animal Nutrition Center (OANC) in 2007, a world class facility that highlights critical functions of the Nutrition Department in meeting the nutritional needs of wildlife. Not only will the collection animals be served, but also the science and research programs supporting the institution’s...

Calcium and insect gut-loading: the development of a protocol for achieving the best CA:P ratio for insectivorous animals

Commercially raised insects have inverse calcium to phosphorus ratio. Captive insectivorous animals are potentially at risk for metabolic bone disorders if the calcium to phosphorus ratio is not equalized. This is achieved through an active supplementation program where the feeder insect is given access to a calcium rich diet prior to ingestion by the insectivore. A zoo-wide insect supplementation survey...