Feed intake, diet utilization, and composition of browses consumed by the Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) in a North American zoo

Citation

Dierenfeld ES, Wildman REC, Romo S. 1999. Feed intake, diet utilization, and composition of browses consumed by the Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) in a North American zoo. In Proceedings of the Third Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Columbus, OH.

Abstract

Similar to other browsing rhinos in North American facilities, health of the Sumatran or “hairy” rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) in captivity appears strongly linked to dietary husbandry.1 Stool consistency problems, gastric torsion, and metabolic imbalances have been reported (M. Campbell, Sumatran Rhino Veterinary Advisor, personal communication), possibly due to inappropriate captive diets. After prolonged diet refinement to improve stool consistency, recommended feeding management included high-fiber herbivore pellets, mixed grass/legume hay, and available browses such that diets more closely duplicated natural forage composition.2 This study was conducted to evaluate the chemical composition and utilization of diets fed to captive Sumatran rhinos in North America in an effort to better define diet suitability for improved captive dietary management and nutrition of the species.

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