Comparison of diets fed to Southeast Asian colobines in North American and European zoos, with emphasis on temperate browse composition.

Citation

Nijboer J, Dierenfeld ES. 1996. Comparison of diets fed to Southeast Asian colobines in North American and European zoos, with emphasis on temperate browse composition. Zoo Biology 15:499 – 507

Abstract

In May and June 1994 a survey of diets fed to captive southeast Asian colobines in European (n = 12) and North American (n = 9) zoos was conducted. Most diets were very complex, comprising an average of 25 ingredients; 149 different foods were listed in responses. Comparison of diets fed showed that European zoos feed a greater variety of fruits and vegetables, and fewer browse plants, than North American zoos. No standardized diet recommendations, based on ingredient or nutrient composition, are currently available for colobines in captivity. Foods eaten by these primates in nature appear to contain higher amounts of fiber and lower protein and soluble carbohydrates than current zoo diets. Temperate browse plants (n = 11 spp.; leaves plus twigs) sampled in New York in summer and autumn contained higher fiber and lower protein levels than diets fed in this survey, and may approximate the nutrient content of food items selected by free-ranging colobines. Fast-growing roses grown in greenhouses, fed primarily in Europe, contained substantially less fiber and higher protein concentrations than other browses offered, and may not be an appropriate substitute for native foods

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