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

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....

Case Study: Iron in Black Rhinoceros Diets: The Impact of Pasture

Over the course of a year, serum ferritin and iron in a black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) increased over time, despite a prescribed diet low in iron. To identify additional sources of iron intake, vegetation in the enclosure was analyzed for iron content. Iron concentrations in enclosure samples averaged 736 ppm, well in excess of maximum recommended total-diet concentrations of 300...

A preliminary evaluation of a hand-rearing formula for southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum) calves

Exotic neonates may be hand-raised in captivity for various reasons. Records and evaluations of these hand-rearing efforts, the protocols used to achieve typical species growth and behavior, and data on the composition of mother’s milk, are needed to increase the success of hand-rearing a number of exotic species, including the southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum). Disney’s Animal Kingdom (DAK)...

Commissary renovation and centralization at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park

Renovation of Smithsonian National Zoological Park (NZP) commissary facilities, evaluation and revision of procedures, and the addition of staff and volunteers were implemented as part of a programmatic shift from decentralized to centralized commissary operation and an overall renewal of the clinical nutrition program. Existing facilities were renovated and new equipment was obtained using hazard analysis and critical control point...

Exhibiting animals in large naturalistic exhibit: without prey or predator

Modern zoos are increasingly inclined to exhibit animals in more naturalistic surroundings, often in large mixed species exhibits, and the Biodôme de Montréal is no exception. The Biodôme is subdivided into four sections representing specific ecosystems. The First ecosystem, the tropical rainforest, represents Amazonia and all species of trees and animals are from South America. The Laurentian forest, the St....

Nutritional diseases of amphibians

Basic knowledge of amphibian nutrition lags far behind that of reptiles and even fish. Recent documentation of worldwide declines and extinctions of amphibian populations and subsequent development of a variety of ex-situ and in-situ captive propagation programs will almost certainly increase the demand for scientifically based programs for nutritional management of these animals. Because the class Amphibia has such rich...

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.

Influence of diet on serum chemistry values in captive giraffe over four years

Over the past several years, herbivore diet formulations have transitioned toward lower starch and sugar and higher concentrations of structural carbohydrates such as neutral detergent fiber. Following the Giraffe Nutrition Workshop in 2005, recommendations were released that encouraged diets containing less than 5% starch and less than 0.5% phosphorus for captive giraffe. In December 2005, seven giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata)...

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...

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...

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]...

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...

Gastritis in the Short-Beaked Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus): Parallels with Ruminal Acidosis in Herbivores and Implications for the Understanding of Echidna Digestive Physiology

Short-beaked echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus) are endemic to Australia and south-eastern New Guinea (Indonesia and Papua New Guinea). In mainland Australia they feed primarily on termites. Echidnas have a single chambered stomach which is entirely lined with squamous (non-glandular) cells, and is histologically analogous to the rumen. The short-beaked echidna stomach has historically been understood to function as a grinding or...

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...

Browse nutrient analyses at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: there’s something about browse.

Feeding exotic herbivores under human care can be fraught with challenges in terms of replicating natural nutrient offerings, or even understanding what a normal requirement would be to maximize health. While recommendations of feeding browse to species known to consume leaves and stems of plants in the wild seems fundamental, it is important to keep in mind how variable the...

Considerations to maximize nutrient supplementation of feeder insects

Providing a nutritionally appropriate diet to amphibians and other insectivores under human care has long proved challenging. The number of available insect species is limited and typically deficient in key nutrients such as calcium and vitamin A. Until more nutritionally balanced options are available, actions should be undertaken to improve the nutritional quality of feeder insects such as the domestic...

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...

A retrospective study evaluating vitamin E supplementation in pelicans and plasma alpha-tocopherol concentrations in pelicans, storks, and flamingos

A retrospective study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of two vitamin E supplement forms in pink-backed pelicans (Pelecanus rufescens). The forms were a paste supplying 100 IU vitamin E daily or a capsule supplying 10.5 IU vitamin E daily. Baseline blood alpha-tocopherol concentrations were 7.15 ug/ml in 1998. After 10 months receiving vitamin E in the capsule form, the...

Evaluating gut-loading diets and dusting to improve the calcium concentration of pin-head and adult crickets (Acheta domesticus)

Four experiments were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of dusting crickets with calcium carbonate versus feeding a custom or commercial high-calcium diet on the calcium and phosphorus concentration of pin-head (13.7 mg) and juvenile (320.9 mg) crickets. Crickets were housed in 37.9 L aquariums, provided with water and egg crates for hiding, maintained on a 12 h light: 12 h...

Small Ruminants: Digestive Capacity Differences between Frugivores and Browsers?

Small ruminants are generally classified as either browsers or frugivores. We hypothesize that browsers may be able to digest insoluble fiber diets better than can frugivores. We compared intake and digestion in the following four species: two Cervidae: red brocket (Mazama americana), body weight 20 kg and pudu (Pudu pudu), 9 kg, and two Bovidae: bay duiker (Cephalophusdorsalis), 12 kg...

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...

Development of hand-rearing techniques for Roseate Spoonbills, Ajaia ajaja, at the Fort Worth Zoo

The Fort Worth Zoo has held a breeding flock of roseate spoonbills (Ajaia ajaja), since the 1960’s and has had more success breeding and parent-rearing roseate spoonbills (Ajaia ajaja), than any other institution worldwide. To infuse new genetic material into the North American population, Fort Worth began collecting hatchlings and eggs from free-ranging birds for hand- rearing. Fledglings were first...

Comparison of diets fed to South-East Asian Colobines in North American and European Zoos Versus Natural Diets

Comparison of diets fed to South-East Asian Colobines in North American and European Zoos Versus Natural Diets Joeke Nijboer1 and Ellen S. Dierenfeld2 1 Rotterdam Zoo, Rotterdam, Netherlands 2 Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, New York In May and June 1994 a survey of diets fed to south-east Asian colobines in captivity in European (n = 12) and North American (n...

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...

Energy requirements of captive non-human primates

Energy is a fundamental need of all living things. In the wild, satisfying energy requirements may be the most important aspect of foraging ecology and feeding decisions. In captivity, satisfying an animal’s energy requirement is usually not difficult. The concern is more over balancing energy intake with that of other necessary nutrients. The energy density of manufactured foods is normally...

The tools we use: outfitting your operation for efficacy and efficiency

Outfitting your nutrition operation can feel a bit like building an arsenal with which you can draw from to fight the good fight that is feeding your animals. However, what you put in your arsenal will depend entirely on your goals as a department and the space and capacity you have available. Wherever your operation lands on the centralized/decentralized commissary...