Toronto Zoo Announces ZWNF Resident
Assessing the Nutritional Welfare and Status of Animals
Mazuri Technical Associate Position Opening
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

The Influence of Giraffe Behavior on Parasite Load: Impact of Husbandry Modifications at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Haemonchus contortus is a gastrointestinal parasite that lives in the abomasal mucosa of ruminants. Similar to cattle, giraffe housed in warm climates are prone to parasitism by stronglyes such as Haemonchus contortus. At Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida a behavioral study and retrospective parasite survey was conducted to determine if a correlation exists between giraffe behavior, feeding methods, and parasite...

Investigations into the nutritional composition of moon jellyfish, Aurelia aurita

Proximate nutrients, fat-soluble vitamins A and E, and mineral composition of the moon jellyfish, Aurelia aurita, were measured in wild specimens from Jamaica Bay, NY, and in captive cultured specimens from the New York Aquarium (reported as mean ± SE). Crude protein content of free-ranging jellyfish was approximately twice that seen in captive animals (9.20% ± 0.40% dry matter (DM)...

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),...

Cholesterol concentrations in free-ranging gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) and (Gorilla beringei) and Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus)

Cholesterol concentrations in captive gorillas and orangutans vary widely within species and average approximately 244 mg/dl for gorillas and 169 mg/dl for orangutans as previously published. The International Species Inventory System reports higher concentrations of 275 and 199 mg/dl for gorillas and orangutans, respectively. It is unknown if these values were typical and/or were influenced by captive management. To answer...

Evaluation of season of harvest and water addition on forage quality of willow (Salix caroliniana) processed for silage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The objective of this study was to evaluate two seasons of harvest and water addition at the time of ensiling on silage quality of Carolina willow (Salix caroliniana). If successful, willow silage could be used as a supplement during the winter months for some browse-consuming animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The experiment consisted of two harvest seasons and two moisture...

Comparison of proximate composition of domestic cat (Felis catus), clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), snow leopard (Uncia uncia), African lion (Panthera leo), and Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) maternal milk with exotic cat hand-rearing formulae

The aims of this study are (1) to compare proximate composition of milks of five felids, the domestic cat (Felis catus), clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), snow leopard (Uncia uncia), African lion (Panthera leo), and Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) to establish if there exist species-specific differences in felid maternal milk composition, (2) to conduct proximate analyses on commercial hand-rearing formulae...

The growth responses of two polar bear (Ursus maritimus) cubs to regimented dietary energy

The growth of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) cubs depends to a large extent on litter size and the provision of maternal care, specifically, milk production and the sharing of prey (Derocher and Stirling, 1996, Robbins et al., 2012). Cubs in most subpopulations stay with their mothers for up to 2 ½ years and rely solely on maternal milk during the...

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...

Foraging behavior and analysis of whole prey eaten by the American oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus)

As part of a continuing study using the American oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus), populations as biomonitors of coastal habitat quality, foraging behavior was quantified, and primary food items obtained for nutritional analysis during June and July, 2002. Two southeastern US barrier island sites were sampled: St. Catherines Island (SCI), GA and Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, SC. Bivalves including blood ark...

The effect of bamboo intake on fecal consistency in Giant Pandas (Ailuropoda Melanoleuca)

Although taxonomically classified as a carnivore, the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) has evolved to consume a herbivorous diet consisting primarily of bamboo. Traditional captive feeding strategies have not reflected the natural diet and instead combined readily digested animal products and high-starch grain mixtures fed with variable amounts of bamboo. Improper nutritional management may lead to gastrointestinal disorders, often manifested as...

Sequencing the Black Rhino L-Ferritin Gene: How Accurate is Our Testing?

Black rhinoceros under human care must be monitored for their iron status due to detrimental but poorly epidemiologically documented consequences of iron overload disorder. The recommended approach to assessing iron status in black rhinoceros examines transferrin saturation and ferritin, a species-specific protein, known to be an iron carrier as well as an acute- phase reactant.  Kansas State University Diagnostic Veterinary...

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...

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...

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...

Survey of circulating retinol (Vitamin A) and tocopheral (Vitamin E) concentrations in nesting marine turtles

Although marine turtles are relatively well-studied endangered and threatened species, critical discontinuities exist in the literature regarding numerous significant blood values, especially those of free-ranging populations. Gaining a better understanding of marine turtle ecological physiology is an urgent priority, considering the impact such information could have on conservation management plans and population health assessments [Bolten and Bjorndal, 1992; Raphael et...

Differences in gut microflora between captive and wild birds: Are we getting the captive balance right?

The microbiota of the vertebrate gastrointestinal tract consists of a diverse collection of microbial species. In the past, identification of these species has involved cultivation-based techniques. However, due to the dependence upon bacteria-specific media during cultivation, up to 80% of species may not have been identified using these techniques. To overcome this bias, a DNA-based technique of identifying microbial communities...

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...

CD-ROM teaching unit on the digestive system of vertebrates

The present-day vertebrates are comprised of approximately 45,000 species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals that have adapted to a wide-range of freshwater, marine, and terrestrial habitats. Their digestive system provides for the assimilation of the energy and nutrients required for maintenance, growth, and reproduction. This is accomplished by complex series of episodic events that reduce food to a...

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. ...

Comparison between two methods for measuring pigmentation of frog’s skin

Tomato frogs belong to the family Mycrohylidae with three recognized species: D. antongilli, D. guineti and D. insularis. All are endemic to Madagascar, and only found in the northern part of the island. These reddish-colored frogs earned their name due their appearance, being similar to tomatoes, especially when they inflate. True colors, however, can vary a great deal, presenting with...

Variation in serum ferritin, serum iron, total iron binding capacity (TIBC) and percent transferrin saturation in Northern Fur Seals: a retrospective study

Hemochromatosis is an excessive accumulation of iron in tissues, particularly liver, and is associated with the development of hepatic lesions. The term hemosiderosis is used when there are no toxic effects of the iron accumulation. Both conditions have been observed in free-ranging and captive specimens of many species (Lowensteine and Munson 1999). Histopathologic analysis of tissues obtained from two aged...

Effect of Level of Intake on Digestion, Rate of Passage and Chewing Dynamics in Hay-Fed Bactrian Camels (Camelus bactrianus)

Four female Bactrian camels (Camelus bactrianus) were offered a diet of chopped mixed hay, composed predominantly of timothy, at three levels of intake. Digestibility of the hay was measured by total collection and rates of passage using cobalt (III) ethylene diamine tetra acetate and Chromium-mordanted hay. The time spent eating and ruminating per day was ascertained by continuous observation for...

Zoo animal nutrition matrix

Providing optimal nutrition by developing an appropriate diet for captive exotic animals is complex. The complexity arises from the many factors that must be considered that may affect the final diet. The zoo animal nutrition matrix was developed to provide those new to developing captive exotic animal diets a guide to affecting factors and to illustrate to all in the...

Food, behavioral enrichment, and primates: some guidelines

Primates are prominent animals in captive collections. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) mandates that dealers, exhibitors, and research facilities develop, document and follow an appropriate plan for environment enhancement adequate to promote the psychological well-being of nonhuman primates (APHIS, USDA 1992). Zoos have long recognized the importance of enrichment for captive primates. Most zoos use food as a...

Macronutrient composition of plants consumed by wild black and white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegate) in Betampona Natural Reserve, Madagascar

Macronutrient composition was determined on a dry matter (DM) basis for plants (n=121) consumed by wild black and white ruffed lemurs. Samples were collected based on direct observation of foraging by the study group for a period of one year. Plant parts included fruits (n=80), young leaves (n=37), and flowers (n=4).

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...

The influence of plant chemistry on browse choice in Angolan Colobus Monkeys (Colobus angolensis palliates)

Browse is included in the diets of many primate species, especially those that consume large portions of leaf material under free-ranging conditions. The challenge of providing a reliable source of browse is complicated by the limited availability of plant species that are nutritionally adequate, palatable, and available in suitable quantities to meet the demands of the animal collection.

Results of a Preliminary Survey into Wasting Marmoset Syndrome in Callitrichid Collections

A preliminary survey of Wasting Marmoset Syndrome was conducted in order to ascertain the significance of this disease constellation in callitrichid collections during the period from 1989 through 1993. Questionnaires prepared by the Philadelphia Zoo Animal and Animal Health Departments and approved by the AZA New World Primate Taxon Advisory Group were mailed to 275 animal managers and veterinarians at...

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...