San Francisco Zoo seeks Kitchen Manager in the Nutrition Center
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 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...

Feeding frenzy: turning the science of zoo nutrition into a game for kids

In 2012, Busch Gardens opened the Animal Care Center to the public to share general information about the techniques and science involved in preventative and emergency care of the 12,000 animal residents of the zoo as well as local injured wildlife. Zoo educators teamed up with the veterinary and nutrition staff to develop demonstrations and interpretive elements that would share...

The effect of tannin on the in vitro solubilization of iron

The absorption of dietary iron can be greatly influenced by other constituents in the diet, such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and tannins. Ascorbic acid increases the bioavailability of iron by converting Fe3+ to Fe2+, while tannins can reduce the bioavailability of iron by binding to it. Captive herbivorous animals are often impacted by either the addition or absence of...

Nutritional physiology of duikers: a synthesis

Duikers (Cephalophus and Sylvicapra spp) form a guild of small antelope inhabiting the forests of sub-Saharan Africa. Local duiker communities are diverse, with 17 species ranging 10-fold in body mass (3 – 80 kg). Duikers can be adversely affected by forest management and hunting, thus 15 species are listed in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature red list...

FAUNA: DIET MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE FOR HEALTHY ANIMALS

We all want to feed our animals well; within zoos and aquariums different stakeholders concentrate on different aspects of feeding. Some may be mostly concerned with the nutrient content, others with the way food is presented. The physical and behavioral health of animals may be a principal focus and sustainability, efficiency and costs are becoming increasingly significant drivers. Recording and...

Maintenance of captive black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) on indigenous browse in Zimbabwe: nutrition and energetics

Poor nutrition has been implicated as a key factor contributing to the high levals of morbidity and mortality seen in captive populations of black rhinoceros, Diceros bicornis (Kock et al, 1992; Miller, 1993). The translocation of four adult black rhinos (2 males, 2 females) to the Intensive Management Center at Sinamatella, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, in January 1995 led to...

Herbivore carbohydrate nutrient analysis: the next generation

The proximate analysis system attempted to separate dietary carbohydrates into fiber and non-fiber portions. Under this system, any matter unaccounted for after subtraction of ash, crude protein, ether extract, and crude fiber from total dry matter was assumed to be non-fiber carbohydrates. Due to loss of variable amounts of fiber (cellulose and hemicellulose) and lignin during analysis, the proximate analysis...

Evaluation of nutrient composition of common invertebrate feeders fed different supplemental diets

While the complete nutrient composition of invertebrates commonly fed to insectivorous animals has been studied, research evaluating the differences among supplemental diets marketed to improve their overall nutrient composition is limited. Previous studies have focused on calcium intake in crickets, and to a lesser extent in mealworms, but diets for superworms have not been evaluated. This study evaluated the proximate...

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...

Hand-rearing hoofstock: a team approach

There are many reasons for hand-rearing neonatal hoofstock in captivity. From 1989 until 1992 the Fort Worth Zoo had no male springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) or dama gazelles (Gazella dama). In 1993, when males were added to these herds, offspring began to be produced. Calves were rejected by first time mothers who had also been hand-reared, and by dams with a...

Analysis of fish offered to bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus truncatus) over a 5 year period : fluctuations and lessons in quality control

Dolphins held under human care often pose a challenge in terms of weight and subsequent health maintenance. While a lack of exercise may contribute to this situation, proper body weight can be controlled by taking regular weights and monitoring both feed and associated caloric intake by weight. At The Seas at Epcot, the diet of the four male dolphins housed...

Commercial aquatic diets and water quality

Water quality is an important limitation of diet choice and feed amounts in ornamental aquaria. Advanced life support system technology (a.k.a. water treatment) allow aquaria to maintain proper water quality; however, addition of diet items to the water is regarded as a key component impacting water quality maintenance via the load presented to life support systems. Herein, we evaluated nutrient...

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...

Chemical analysis of elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) using near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIR)

Samples of Pennisetum purpureum (PP) were collected weekly commencing the summer of 2002 and throughout the year 2003. This grass is used in the feeding enrichment program for the African elephants (Loxodonta africana) at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (DAK). Samples were submitted to a laboratory where analyses of moisture, crude protein (CP), acid detergent fiber (ADF), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), fat...

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....

A GUIDE TO DECIDING ON A CENTRALIZED VS DECENTRALIZED COMMISSARY APPROACH IN A ZOO SETTING

Likely since the inception of zoological collections, there has been a debate over whether it is most efficient and effective to have a centralized or a decentralized commissary operation. Proponents of both types of operations know the bonuses and shortfalls of their own approach, as well as their perceptions of each for the “path not chosen.” Both approaches have been...

Potential of alternative protein sources for exotic carnivores: observations and discussion

Historically, the zoological community has depended on horsemeat and beef as the two options for feeding exotic carnivores. Horsemeat was generally preferred by veterinarians and nutritionists as a leaner, more wildgame-like product. Unfortunately, within the last 10 years all horsemeat packing plants in the US have closed due to public pressure opinion that horses are more pets than livestock and...

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...

Gut loading as a method to effectively supplement crickets with calcium and vitamin A

Limited quantities of vital nutrients such as calcium and vitamin A in crickets have led to the occurrence of diseases such as rickets, osteomalacia, metabolic bone disease (calcium deficiency) and more recently, squamous metaplasia or “short tongue syndrome” in amphibians. Gut loading has been an effective method to supplement feeder crickets with both calcium and vitamin A. A dose of...

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....

Evaluation of diets offered to elephants in Brazilian zoos

In order to improve the quality of life for captive elephants maintained in Brazilian zoos, the Brazilian Society of Zoos and Aquariums (SZB) organized a workshop concerning management of elephants in zoos in November 2014. Evaluation of nutritional husbandry was identified as a priority. Thus, diets were assessed from information obtained for 4 African (Loxodonta africana) and 12 Asian (Elephas...

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...

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...

Microbiological and temperature evaluation as part of a comprehensive raw meat quality control program

Raw meat and raw meat-based diets are potentially hazardous food items used to maintain zoo carnivores. It is important to monitor handling temperature of meat throughout the preparation process to insure it is maintained below the appropriate threshold temperature (4°C or 40°F). Handling raw meat below this temperature threshold minimizes growth of harmful microorganisms. Three frozen raw meat samples were...

Designing analytical software for global data sharing of rhinoceros browse and diet information

As part of an ongoing effort to develop information resources and tools integrating valuable global research, we present a database and software model that integrates feeding habits, browse usage information, nutrient composition of native and substitute foods, and captive diet records for rhinoceros species. Screen displays and output reports include: Browses/Forages Offered, Browse/Forage Nutrient Composition, Diets Fed by Zoological Facility,...

Utilization of zoo interns

The field of nutrition in the zoo community is still in its infancy with many an unsolved riddle lying ahead. One tool that has been effective in aiding the collection of nutritional information has been a collaborative internship program between the Denver Zoological Gardens and Colorado State University .The internship program allows nutritionally-related projects to be completed at little cost,...

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.