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

Evaluation of the nutritional status of rehabilitated green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) utilizing nutritional markers, stable isotopes, and metagenomics

Green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) are unique because hatchlings and pelagic juveniles are carnivorous, while later life history stages are primarily herbivorous. Dietary requirements at each life stage are poorly understood, making diet selection during rehabilitation of injured and sick animals challenging. Although turtles are typically transitioned to an herbivorous diet before release, food items high in animal protein (e.g.,...

Analyses of Diet and Serum Mineral Concentrations in African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) Housed at the NC Zoo

Elephants in human care (Loxodonta africana) are often over conditioned. Consequently, many zoos aim for reduced caloric intake and increased activity levels. Diets containing higher dietary browse and forage percentages with lower inclusion of pelleted components may stimulate increased foraging behavior. However, feeding increased browse with unknown nutrient profiles while decreasing pelleted nutritionally complete feed could prove problematic with respect...

A FIELD GUIDE TO AZA ACCREDITATION FROM A NUTRITION PERSPECTIVE

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) maintains a rigorous accreditation process in order to ensure that AZA-member zoos meet the highest standards of animal care, welfare and management; veterinary care; business management; education; and conservation responsibility. This process is managed by the Accreditation Commission, and is implemented at individual facilities via the inspection team (a team of three –...

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...

Hypovitaminosis A: influence of three diets or topical treatment on hepatic, adipose, and plasma retinoid concentrations and presence of squamous metaplasia in Mississippi gopher frogs (Rana capito servosa)

Hypovitaminosis A has been linked to health concerns in amphibians causing squamous metaplasia of the tongue, bladder, kidneys and other organs. Juvenile Mississippi Gopher Frogs (Rana capito servosa) at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium (n = 32) were randomly assigned to one of four vitamin A treatment groups including three dietary feeder cricket treatments and one topical vitamin A...

Analysis of Fatty Acid Profiles in Eastern Box (Terrapene carolina carolina) and Common Snapping (Chelydra serpentine) Turtles for Wild and In-Human Care Environments

Diets of wild animals are often more diverse and offer higher concentrations of nutrients than those of animals’ in-human care (zoos, rehabilitation facilities, etc.). Managing wild animals within human care facilities is often necessary, and we hypothesized that chelonian dietary differences within circulating fatty acid profiles would be reflected in wild vs human care data. The current study examined the...

The impact of nutritional factors on the development of phosphatic uroliths using meat goats as a model for captive giraffes

Obstructive urolithiasis is a documented problem in domestic ruminants, such as the meat goat, and exotic herbivores, such as captive giraffe. These two species develop phosphorus based uroliths and are considered browsing ruminants. Due to the logistical challenges of performing studies with captive giraffe, a metabolic trial was conducted using meat goats as a model. The intent of this study...

The captive Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus): Nutritional considerations with emphasis on management of cystinuria

An important and widely recognized condition of the maned wolf is cystinuria, or excess levels of cystine in the urine. Cystinuria has been identified in the majority of maned wolves tested, both in captivity and in the wild. Cystinuria also occurs in humans and domestic dogs, and has been demonstrated in these species to have a genetic basis. In all...

Comparative protein requirements of three species of parrots with distinct dietary specializations

Highly specialized nectarivorous and frugivorous birds have overcome the constraints of low dietary protein levels. Proposed physiological mechanisms that enable such specialists to subsist on low-protein diets include low protein requirements, low endogenous protein losses, high feed intake, and high protein digestibilities. These traits were compared among nectarivorous red lories (Eos bornea), frugivorous Pesquet’s parrots (Psittrichas fulgidus), and granivorous budgerigars...

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...

Carotenoid Gut-Loading of Crickets and Mealworms

The lack of diversity of invertebrate prey items available to feed captive animals limits available nutrients, requiring manipulation of the diet fed to these prey items prior to offering to other animals. Of late, much of the gut-loading research and recommendations focused on correcting the Ca:P imbalance inherent to the insects available through commercial production. More recently, attention has shifted...

Implications of carbohydrate feeding for captive herbivore nutrition and welfare

Carbohydrates comprise the major portion of most herbivore diets. Research is limited regarding the effect of carbohydrates as provided in commercial feeds, forage, and browse on the nutrition and health of captive herbivores. However, the diversity of carbohydrates, their digestion characteristics, nutrients they supply, impacts of their physical form, and potential impact on animal health strongly recommend that they be...

Regurgitation and Reingestion in Captive Great Apes

Two male western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) and one female northwest Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus) at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium have exhibited recurring regurgitation and reingestion (R&R) behavior. No negative health effects have been noted related to this behavior in the two gorillas; however, the orangutan has had multiple cavities that are suspected to be related...

Macronutrient Selection in Mammalian Insectivores at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

This study determined macronutrient target of several mammalian insectivore species including 3-banded armadillo, aardvark, tamandua (lesser anteater), and greater anteater. These insectivores are often maintained on a commercial insectivore diet, which may or may not be appropriate for every species in this diverse and polyphyletic group. Animals were fed three experimental diets that varied in their proportions of calories from...

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...

A retrospective investigation of the prevalence and significance of hemosiderosis in captive pinnipeds

Iron is a trace element required for the synthesis of haemoglobin and a number of energetic reactions. In most species, iron uptake is primarily regulated by the absorption of iron and protein-addition conversion to ferritin in the mucosal layers of the intestines and the sloughing of mucosal layers when iron levels are replete. However, if this system becomes imbalanced as...

Feeding behavior of a herd of Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) at the San Deigo Zoo

The objective of this study was to determine the feeding behavior of a herd of 2.5 Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) (Table 1) and compare this to feeding behavior in other zoo and free-ranging giraffe. In May 2020, 16 h of observations (0500 through 2100) were divided into four time periods (early morning, late morning, early afternoon, evening) and the...

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...

Nutrition therapy for human gastrointestinal disorders and application to captive non-human primates

Abnormal gastrointestinal function is considered to be a common problem among captive non-human primates. Certain nutrients and diet patterns are implicated in abnormal gastrointestinal function and disease. The human nutrition field uses medical nutrition therapies to prevent and/or manage a variety of gastrointestinal disorders. Some of these may be appropriate for application to non-human primates. Current evidence-based nutrition interventions for...

Understanding the interactions of diet and lighting on frogs and their symbiotic bacteria to improve ex situ husbandry of amphibians

Amphibians are undergoing massive population declines in the wild, in part due to infectious diseases including chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). In response, amphibian populations are being maintained in ex situ breeding programs while viable treatments for chytridiomycosis are developed. One potential action involves the use of symbiotic bacteria from the skin of amphibians; however multiple...

Trace element intake of Cercopithecinae

The Fe, Zn, Cu, Mn and Mo intake was determined in 5 species of Cercopithecinae kept in captivity. The feed dry matter contained up to three times higher concentrations of trace elements compared to humans’ mixed and vegetarian diets. Although the mean body mass of the animals only amounted to 8% of the body mass of humans, they had a...

Continuing Assessment of Vitamin Analysis Reliability Across Laboratories: Examples in White and Black Rhino Species

As part of an ongoing assessment of vitamin E supplementation in white and black rhino species (2017 – 2018) at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the first 6 months of assessment utilized 2 laboratories (A and B) for vitamin E analysis in split serum samples, and 2 laboratories (C and D) for vitamin E analysis in split fecal samples.  In both species...

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...

Metabolic Bone Disease in lizards: Prevalence and potential for monitoring bone health

A consensus that metabolic bone disease (MBD) is the nutritional pathology (NP) most likely to occur in captive lizards was apparent in a study at the Ontario Veterinary College Teaching Hospital (OVCTH) and in two surveys on NP in accredited zoos in Canada and the United States. The prevalence, pathogensis and diagnosis of MBD relative to the OVCTH and zoological...

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.

Implications of Managing a Mother-Reared Orangutan Indoors During Early Infancy

In September, healthy male orangutan was born and raised by the dam at the National Zoological Park. However, due to enclosure limitations and timing of the year, the pair would have no access to the outdoor enclosure until May. Knowing that milk was not likely to contain biologically significant levels of vitamin D, and access to UV lighting was not...

FOOD AND FEED SAFETY AND NEW REGULATIONS

Both federal and state agencies oversee the safety and efficacy of commercial livestock and poultry feed and pet food products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under authority provided by the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (Act) promulgates regulations designed to protect the health of humans and animals by requiring that animal feed and pet food be appropriately...