Polar Bear Nutrition Guidelines
Post-Doc: Henry Doorly Zoo
Job posting: Georgia Aquarium Commissary Manager
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

Reorganization and development of the nutrition department at the Buenos Aires Zoo (1991- 2001)

The objective of this presentation is to describe modifications of nutritional management at the Buenos Aires Zoo from 1991 to present (2001). As with other Latin American zoos, our resources are limited; however we have made strong efforts to overcome financial, technical and organizational difficulties. In 1991, the basic management was in the hands of the keeper, who decided what...

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...

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...

Does B vitamin supplementation increase survival or weight gain stranded California sea lions

When pinnipeds enter a rehabilitation facility, they have often fasted for an unknown period of time and are nutritionally deficient. They often are then fed dead fish. Certain species of fish are deficient in vitamin B1, or thiamine, as they contain thiaminases, enzymes which break down this vitamin after the fish have died. Deficiencies in these vitamins can result in...

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...

Influence of fiber source on apparent digestibility, rate passage and fecal consistency in small felids fed a beef-based carnivore diet

In a crossover design, four adult animals, a male and female Amur leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis euptilura) and a male and female Turkmenistan caracal (Caracal caracal michaelis) were fed three fresh-frozen beef based diets containing different sources of fiber; beet pulp (BP), fructooligosaccharides/cellulose blend (FOS), and wood cellulose (Solka Floe®) (WC). Assessment included food intake, fecal consistency, animal body weight,...

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...

Nutrient and fermentation characteristics of Carolina willow (Salix caroliniana) silage

The objective of this study was to evaluate the nutrient and fermentation characteristics of Carolina willow (Salix caroliniana) silage. Twelve laboratory scale silos (10.2 cm diameter x 45.7 cm long) were packed by hand with chopped willow (1.41 kg as-is, range 1.28 – 1.65 ± 0.18 SD) and opened on 0, 21, 42, and 84-d post-ensiling (three replicates per period)....

Carp cakes: another fish alternative

Silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and bighead carp (H. nobilis) are invasive species that pose a threat of displacing and lowering the abundance of native fishes, mussels and invertebrates. The Mississippi Interstate Cooperative Resource Association (MICRA) considers bighead and silver carp the most important aquatic nuisance species in the basin. On the Missouri, Mississippi and Illinois rivers, bighead and silver carp...

A comparison of dietary intake in captive, Jamaican Iguanas (Cyclura collei) at four United States zoos

The dietary intake of captive, Jamaican iguanas (Cyclura collei) was measured at four institutions including four U.S. zoos, Indianapolis Zoo (n = 1, 1.2 iguanas), Fort Worth Zoo (n = 2, 2.2 iguanas), Sedgwick County Zoo (n = 3, 1.2 iguanas), and San Diego Zoo – CRES (n = 3, 3.3 iguanas). The diets offered at all four zoos consisted...

Purchasing forage for a diverse group of exotic animals beyond the nutrient analysis

The approach of this paper is from a forage utilization perspective as it pertains to providing forage for the diverse, and often non-food related, purposes of a zoological institution. The paper covers aspects of forage production often over-looked or poorly understood by zoo professionals yet vital to the health and wellbeing of our captive collections. The purpose of the paper...

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)...

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]...

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...

Evolution of a browse database- a global application

Browse – the new “buzzword” within zoological communities. Browse can include shrubs, trees, woody vines and stems, including various plant parts like berries and flowers. Browse is used for nutrient supplementation, behavioral enrichment and for some animal species it is life. Browse can also mean death to animals if a wrong plant or part is fed. With all of these...

Nutrition management of patients with diabetes

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is the hormone needed to help process the sugars and starches (carbohydrates) into energy for our body. It is also necessary for our body to use protein and fat from our diet. The two most common types of diabetes are classified as Type 1...

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....

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)...

Effect of Vitamin D3/ Ascorbic Acid Supplementation on Growth and Tibia Characteristics of Green Water Dragons (Physignathus cocincinus, Cuvier 1829)

A preliminary experiment was conducted to investigate the interactive effect of one level of a combined dose of vitamin D3/ascorbic acid (C) supplementation on growth performance and bone development in green water dragons (Physignathus cocincinus, Cuvier 1829) .Ten forty- seven day old female green water dragons obtained from one clutch of eggs were selected for this study. From birth to...

Efficacy of chelated minerals; review of literature

The recent report (Leach and Patton, 1997) of an assay procedure for chelated minerals removes an obstacle that has long hindered consideration of chelates by the animal feed industry. In the absence of a reliable assay, it is understandable that some would hesitate to embrace a technology that’s existence could not be proven empirically. Nonetheless, circumstantial evidence kept most minds...

Non-invasive methods for nutritional research at the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust

This poster/paper presents a review of nutritional research at the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust (JWPT). JWPT is an international conservation organization working to save animals from extinction. At present JWPT does not employ a full-time nutritionists and yet in recent years at least 16 species have been the focus of nutritional research, a list which includes reptile, birds and mammals....

The effects of fertilization on nutrient content of pasture, soil and water in 3 savannahs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Historically, grass nutrient content at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (DAKL) has been observed to have high levels of potassium (> 4 %), a possible concerning factor in the development of hypomagnesemia in grazing hoofstock. There had been no fertilization of the savannahs at DAKL for 2 years prior to the current study, and potassium levels had reduced approximately by half...

Comparison of parathyroid hormone, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium in serum and urine of nyala (Tragelaphus angassi) on concentrates or a forage only diet

The nyala (Tragelaphus angasii) herd at Busch Gardens Tampa has historically had one of the highest incidences of Johne’s disease (Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis, Mptb) within the collection. A 10-yr epidemiologic review at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay revealed 27/83 (32.5%) Mptb culture positive individuals. At the time of this trial, 20/21 positive animals were also noted to be hypocalcemia. It was...

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...

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...

Obesity, weight management and dietary analysis in Micronesian kingfishers (Halcyon cinnamomina cinnamomina)

Mortality in captive Micronesian kingfishers (Halcyon cinnamomina cinnamomina) is notably high in age classes that should be peak breeding years. Females, in particular, suffer high rates of mortality earlier than would be expected from examining patterns in related species. Many birds are overweight and sustained weight loss has been difficult to achieve. Body mass for the 2.2 birds in this...

Validation of techniques for elemental analysis in a zoo nutrition lab

Quantities of minerals in samples such as diets, excreta, and water are a key factor in identifying nutritional needs and thus are an important aspect of laboratory analyses. Perchloric acid digestion with atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS) has been a useful and valid method for quantification of physiological levels of minerals. However, recent technology has brought into consideration techniques such as...

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....

Common aquatic ingredient nutrient analyses: balancing practical feeding with long term aquatic health

Optimizing dietary formulations for aquatic species is one of the most challenging aspects of nutrition for exotics. Whether designing diets for elasmobranches, fish in a multi-species aquarium, or marine mammals, understanding the nutrients provided in the food is essential. Ideally, designing aquatic diets utilizes both known body weights of the target species, and analyzed nutrient contents of diet items. Repercussions...