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

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...

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...

Food Intake Patterns in Captive South African Fur Seals (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus)

Food intake data from 1990-94 from eight South African fur seals at the Metro Toronto Zoo were evaluated. From the data collected, fish species, total fish offered and total fish consumed were summarized on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis. Proximate analysis was performed on samples of each fish species. Gross energy intake (GEI) was determined based on the...

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...

Body condition scoring of captive (zoo) equids

Obesity in captive wild equids may result from forage diets that are higher in energy, over-fed and not fed according to BW. In addition, processed forages are supplemented or substituted for long-stem forage diets and differences in feeding management are not considered. The scoring system used for domestic horses has been used and modified for captive (zoo) equids. The nine-point...

The effect of terrarium size, egg crate area, stocking density, and time on cricket mortality and the ability to achieve a 1:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio

In order to provide a nutritionally adequate diet for captive insectivorous animals, invertebrates such as crickets and mealworms must be supplemented with calcium. Current methods of supplementation include dusting and gut-loading. The size of the terrarium, the area of egg crates within the terrarium, cricket stocking density, and length of time on the gut loading diet, may all play a...

Establishment of a zoological browse data base

Browse, a significant source of nutrition and enrichment for captive animals, is becoming increasingly important and more widely used. Browse includes leaves and twigs from shrubs, trees and herbaceous plants. It is supplemented to a wide range of captive animals including hoofstock, primates, pachyderms, marsupials and even avian species. Despite the importance of browse as a supplemental feed and enrichment...

Iron deficiency anemia in captive Malayan tapir calves (Tapirus indicus)

Subclinical iron deficiency anemia was diagnosed in a captive neonatal female Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus) through blood samples obtained as part of an in-house training program for venipuncture. Routine blood testing performed at day 2 of age was within in-house and ISIS normal values for this species. Microcytic hypochromic anemia (HCT = 16 %; MCV = 38.4 fL; MCH =...

Managing diabetes through diet in black-footed tree rats (Mesembriomys gouldii) and greater stick-nest rats (Leporillus conditor)

Clinical and pathological signs consistent with diabetes mellitus (DM) were observed in a collection of Black Footed Tree Rats (BFTR; Mesembriomys gouldii) and Greater Stick-Nest Rats (GSNR; Leporillus conditor) housed at Taronga zoo. Review of the medical records of eighteen BFTR between 1991 and 2014, and thirty eight GSNR between 1995 and 2014, revealed a high frequency of animals with...

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,...

Viverrid digestive physiology: comparison of binturongs (Artictis binturong) and dwarf mongoose (Helgale parvula)

A preliminary investigation was conducted to compare intake and digestion in the largest and smallest members of the Viverridae family, highly frugivorous binturongs (Arctictis binturong; n=2) and the more carnivorous dwarf mongoose (Helogale parvula; n=6) housed in groups. Normal zoo diets were monitored over two 4-day periods, with total feed intake and fecal output measured.

Why the composition of the diet of bottle nose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) is the best assessed of an energy basis rather than 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...

Advances in feline nutrition 2: evaluations of protein and fiber sources for raw meat based diets in captive exotic felids

Little nutritional or metabolic information has been collected from captive exotic felids fed raw diets. In depth data on nutrient composition (e.g., fatty acid and amino acid composition) are sparse, and may impact diet formulation. Additionally, although several studies have examined total tract nutrient digestibility in captive exotic felid, (Clauss, et al., 2010; Vester, et al., 2010a) most have focused on horsemeat and beef-based...

Influence of diet and time on fat and retinol concentrations in adult feeder crickets

Many captive amphibians are fed supplemented crickets (Acheta domesticus) as a basal diet. There is concern that some amphibians have unique requirements for certain vitamins, particularly vitamin A due to its association with squamous metaplasia of mucous producing epithelia, resulting in inability to capture prey. Because vitamin A is fat soluble, it was hypothesized that increasing fat concentration of crickets...

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...

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...

Commentary- Skepticism and science: responsibilities of the comparative nutritionist

Comparative nutritionists are asked to formulate diets for over 3,000 species of animals,including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates. Little research has been conducted to provide an information base for this task, and both popular and scientific publications contain factual errors and irrational concepts that confuse the user. When data are suspect and theories do not make sense, they...

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....

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...

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.

Total Fecal Collection and Acid-Insoluble Ash as Measures of Dry Matter Digestibility by Kowari (Dasyuriodes brynei)

Comparisons were made between the total fecal collection and acid-insoluble ash (AIA) natural marker methods for determining dry matter digestibility (DMD) coefficients of rations for Kowari (Dasyuriodes brynei) at the Metro Toronto Zoo (MTZ). Two rations were evaluated separately in trials of 5 to 7 days duration; a ground mice diet (2 trials) and a plain carnivore mix diet (4...

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....

The effect of diet on growth and development of Puerto Rican Crested Toad (Peltophryne lemur) tadpoles

The Puerto Rican Crested Toad (Peltophryne lemur), an endemic toad of Puerto Rico, was the first amphibian to be considered suitable for the Species Survival Plan (SSP). Captive propagation for release of this species began in 1983, and the Toronto Zoo has reintroduced over 15,000 animals to their native habitat since 1985. Although these animals have been successfully reared in...

Energy metabolizability and nutrient digestibility in the magpie (Pica pica)

A number of studies have been conducted to determine energy requirements in avian species. However, this is a complex area and one which is driven by a number of factors. For example, environment is one of the major factors which governs energy requirements, and the metabolizable energy requirements of avians housed in controlled conditions probably do not reflect the normal...

Suspected Vitamin D3 toxicity in a group of black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis)

Three black rhinoceros (two males, one female, Diceros bicornis) in a group of 10 black rhinoceros, (two male and two female long-term wild-caught adults and six male captive-born juveniles) began to show hypercalcemia and partial anorexia over a 5-mo time frame. These signs were more pronounced in the adult rhinoceros, serum sampling in the juveniles were inconsistent due to behavioural...

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)...

So you want to be a zoo animal nutritionist

Well, “comparative nutrition” is the name of the game since it is estimated that the zoos of the world house over 3,000 different species [Wilson, 1992]. These include animals as different as snakes and elephants. Your challenge is to devise diets that ensure the proper nourishment of every animal. There is nothing more basic to animal health and welfare.

Effect of Different Protein Levels on the Performance and Apparent Protein Digestibility of Orphan Calves of Amazonian Manatees (Trichechus inunguis)

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of four dietary crude protein (CP) levels, provided by mixing two commercial milk replacers, on the performance and protein apparent digestibility of captive orphan calves of Amazonian manatees (Trichechus inunguis). Four individuals (two males and two females), with an average weight of 28.95 kg and 8.75 months-old in average were...

Quantifying the activity of captive Asian elephants through the use of a tri-axial accelerometer GPS, and behavioral observation

Quantifying activity levels and specific behaviors in captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) has proven challenging and yet is important for managing these animals in zoos. Wild elephants spend a large portion of their day foraging; while in captivity, this activity is significantly decreased. To reduce the development of health risks such as obesity and the formation of undesirable behaviors, new...