Update on the provision of browse at Toronto Zoo


Wenswoort J, McGregor E, Gourlie S, and Martin B. 2017. Update on the provision of browse at Toronto Zoo. In Ward A, Coslik A, Brooks M Eds. Proceedings of the Twelfth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition Foundation and AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Frisco, TX.


The importance of browse in the diet programs of captive managed herbivores has been well established throughout the zoological community. It is considered good for the health and wellbeing of the animals. Examples are a better expression of the consumer’s natural behaviours and less repetitive or unnatural behaviours when browse is fed. There is now reported evidence of health benefits of feeding browse to zoo animals. However, it is not clear to what degree browse should be provided for nutriment and/or enrichment.

In many zoological institutions browse is still seen as an added/occasional enrichment, and the amounts given are normally not weighed. Further, it is difficult to determine the actual edible material for the various types of browse. Providing browse regularly throughout a zoological institution is generally a laborious task, even when it is available from designated farms, gardens or green houses. There are several methods currently practiced for harvesting, preparing/processing, packing, preserving, and storing browse material that require different input of staff engagement, time, and cost.

[Wensvoort] Update-on-the-provision-of-browse-at-Toronto-Zoo_JW-Final.pdf     119 KB

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