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Zoo Nutrition Myth: A fruit is a fruit

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)...

So your director wants a farm in the zoo

It seems that humans have always craved animal contact. Even at a zoo, a place designed for wild animals, visitors want and even expect to be able to touch an animal. Petting corrals, touch tanks, feeding stations, etc. are the most popular exhibits at a zoo, especially for families with young children. Contact areas can provide a valuable educational experience...

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...

Milk composition of the bongo antelope (Tragelaphus eurycerus) through lactation

Bongo antelopes (Tragelaphus eurycerus) are a species of antelope that originate from Africa. The gestation length is about 285 days. Bongo antelope calves weigh about 20 kg when born. Adult females weigh between 210-230 kg, while adult males weigh 240-270 kg. Young reach sexual maturity when approximately two years old. The milk samples used in this study were part of...

Impact of dietary n-3 and n-6 PUFA on oxidative status and inflammation in yellow-rumped warblers

The intake and ratio of the essential fatty acid classes, n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), impact animal health. The dietary ratio of these fatty acids can be important as n-3 PUFA are considered anti-inflammatory, while n-6 PUFA are pro-inflammatory. Additionally, the increased number of double bonds in PUFA makes them more vulnerable to oxidative damage, potentially increasing the...

Effect of dietary nutrient level and source on feeder mouse nutrient composition

Whole prey items may contain lower nutrient levels than desired for feeding exotic carnivores. The purpose of this trial was to gather preliminary data on the effect of different dietary treatments on the nutrient composition of mice at various ages. Dietary enrichment with vitamin E and chelated minerals in general did not improve total body levels of most nutrients, but...

A Preliminary Study to Measure Protein, Fat and Moisture in Whole Mice and Rats by Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy

Whole mice and rats were analyzed using near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIR) to measure percent protein (Pr), percent fat (FAT) and percent moisture (MST). The NIR calibrations for Pr, FAT and MST were developed using 34 samples including mice and rats of different ages. The accuracy of the calibrations was assessed by calculating the residual standard deviation (RSD) and the...

Herbivore carbohydrate nutrient analysis: the next generation

The proximate analysis system attempted to separate dietary carbohydrates into fiber and non-fiber portions. Under this system, any matter unaccounted for after subtraction of ash, crude protein, ether extract, and crude fiber from total dry matter was assumed to be non-fiber carbohydrates. Due to loss of variable amounts of fiber (cellulose and hemicellulose) and lignin during analysis, the proximate analysis...

Evaluation of eight species of native Texas browse as suitable forage substitutes for black rhinoceros (Dieros bicornis)

Duplication of natural foodstuffs for animals in captivity can be a difficult task. While it may not be possible to provide food sources normally available in an animal’ s natural habitat, a prospective goal might be to provide similar nutrients from locally available foods. Eight species of native Texas browse were studied for adequacy as a source of browse for...

Intake study of the lesser green broadbill (Calyptomena viridis) at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

A nine-day intake study was carried out at Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s (DAK) Avian Research Center on an adult pair (1.1) of the frugivorous lesser green broadbills (LGB). The pellet/produce/invertebrate diet was fed twice daily. Two collections were carried out; one with food items presented separated, and a second with all ingredients combined as prepared by keepers. The birds displayed a...

Voluntary intake by Hyacinth Macaws (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)

In August 2004 two juvenile Hyacinth Macaws (Anodorhynchus hyacinthus) arrived at Temaikèn Wild Animal Park. Their feathers were in very bad condition and they weighed 1,230 g on average. At the very beginning, a diet with a great variety of ingredients was given. Two months later, during a first 5-day period leftovers were measured. At that moment the animals weighed...

WHY THE NUTRIENT COMPOSITION OF THE DIET OF BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS (TURSIOPS TRUNCATUS) IS BEST ASSESSED ON AN ENERGY BASIS RATHER THAN A DRY MATTER BASIS

Dietary nutrients can be compared in three ways: ‘as fed’, or relative to either dry matter or energy content. Most published literature that evaluates the diet of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, compares nutrient content relative to dry matter, but dolphins consume a diet of whole fish and invertebrates that varies in fat and water content and energy density. The quantity...

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...

The influence of dietary fiber on digestibility, passage rate, and body mass in captive baboons (Papio Anubis)

This was a preliminary study in which nutrient digestibility, digesta passage rate and body mass were determined for a captive group of baboons (Papio anubis). The group consisted of 6 adult, nonpregnant females. Three experimental diets, varying in acid detergent fiber (ADF) content, were fed. The fiber content of the experiment diets was: diet1=10.45% ADF, diet2=18.30% ADF and diet3=30.40% ADF.

Assessment of leopard tortoise (Geochelone pardalis) scent preference

It is suggested tortoises are attracted to certain ingredient scents. The preference for scent of ginger, anise, rose, and a control (water) among leopard tortoises was evaluated. Sixteen leopard tortoises (Geochelone pardalis) participated in a series of trials exposing them to pair-wise combinations of the three scents and control. Response criteria evaluated include position (left, right, no decision) and scent...

Selecting Appropriate Markers for Digestibility Studies

Markers provide a method for indirect quantitation of digestive parameters. Gastrointestinal physiology and kinetics show a tremendous variation among species that is undoubtedly a reflection of evolution and dietary adaptation. Therefore, markers used in nutrition research must be appropriately selected for each species and each circumstance. Markers serve to facilitate quantification of passage rate and digesta fill as well as...

CASE STUDY: RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WEIGHT GAIN AND OFFSPRING SEX IN AFRICAN BUSH ELEPHANTS (LOXODONTA AFRICANA AFRICANA) AT THE SAN DIEGO ZOO SAFARI PARK

Facing a male biased offspring sex ratio (7:4) in the African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana africana) population at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (SP), the overall weight and weight gain of the breeding females was analyzed and the weight gain prior to calf conception was determined. The breeding females arrived at the SP heavier than similarly aged Zambian female...

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...

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.

Apple leaves and bark as browse items for herbivorous monogastrics under human care

Many zoological institutions are faced with challenges when developing and providing a diet for their non-ruminant browsing herbivores. The most prominent issue remains providing readily available, safe and sufficient quantities of plant material. Zoos are often forced, usually by climate, to utilize seasonally available, local, appropriate and or novel plant species in order to decrease the effort and expense required...

Vitamin D and Primates: Recurring Problems on a Familiar Theme

Captive primates housed indoors with little access to ultraviolet light have historically been susceptible to metabolic bone disease. The trend in zoological parks toward building large, indoor exhibits has potentially exacerbated this problem. Most skylight materials are not transparent to the wavelengths of ultraviolet light (UV-B) necessary for endogenous production of vitamin D. It is possible that most primates, like...

Does blood sample handling and processing affect levels of vitamin A, E, and D?

Proper handling of blood samples is critical for the most accurate results. Knowledge of which factors affect blood samples leads to a practical and efficient system of handling these samples. This study evaluated the effect of light, temperature, or type of blood collection tube on 25(OH) vitamin D, retinol, and alpha-tocopherol in lion blood samples. Blood samples were collected from...

Medical considerations when exhibiting multiple taxa in large aquarium systems

Large multi-taxa aquatic systems are often challenging for both husbandry and veterinary personnel. A wide variety of diseases can afflict entire systems with potential medical considerations for all exposed taxa. Largely for logistic reasons, the most common method of disease treatment is the addition of chemotherapeutics directly to the aquatic environment. However, the potential for species-specific toxicoses associated with some...

Nutrition of the enigmatic browser: Comparative bioenergetics, digestion and feeding of northern versus tropical ungulates

Wild ungulates use time, habitat, and food in complex ways in relation to social, security, comfort, and bioenergetic needs to optimization fitness from decisions during day-to-day living. Species in highly seasonal environments experience changes in nutritional requirements in association with adaptations to quality and quantity of available food. Evolutionary implications are closely tied to seasonal bioenergetic cycles and become extremely...

Nutrition of the tamandua: I. Nutrient composition of termites (Nasutitermes spp.) and stomach content 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 (n = 3), soldiers (n = 5), and alates (n =1]), on mixed caste samples (n = 1), and on stomach contents from live...

Hornbill diets at San Diego Zoo Global: a review

Hornbills (Bucerotidae) are a family of birds that include 14 genera and 54 species spanning sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.7 They are easily identified by their long decurved bill and casque.7 The smallest hornbills range in body weight from 83-135 g (Black dwarf-hornbill, Tockus hartlaubi; Red-billed dwarf hornbill, Tockus camurus) while the largest can reach body weights of 2230-4580 g...

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.

Dietary intake and digestion in snow leopards (Uncia uncia) at the Bronx Zoo

Although the nutritional requirements of the domestic cat are well known and various investigations have been conducted with larger exotic felids no published information on digestion in snow leopards, Uncia uncia, is available. Two three-day intake and digestion trials were conducted on 4.6 adult (ages 3-15 years) captive-born snow leopards at the Bronx Zoo, Bronx, NY in December, 1996. Routine...

Vitamin D intakes by cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) and associated serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations

Rickets and osteomalacia have been reported frequently in captive callitrichids. Some have assumed that these conditions are a consequence of unmet, unusually high requirements for vitamin D and that these high requirements are characteristic of all New World primates. As a consequence, certain commercial diets formulated for New World primates contain such high concentrations of vitamin D that their consumption...