Apple leaves and bark as browse items for herbivorous monogastrics under human care

Many zoological institutions are faced with challenges when developing and providing a diet for their non-ruminant browsing herbivores. The most prominent issue remains providing readily available, safe and sufficient quantities of plant material. Zoos are often forced, usually by climate, to utilize seasonally available, local, appropriate and or novel plant species in order to decrease the effort and expense required...

Stronger than yesterday: new nutrient recommendations for lorisine primates

Asia’s slow lorises (Nycticebus spp.) are heavily impacted by the illegal wildlife trade in Southeast Asia. Confiscated lorises by Customs officials find themselves in rescue centers with approximately 50% of them having had their lower teeth removed by the poachers and must remain in the rescue centre indefinitely, if they survive. Reintroductions do occur but success is very low. Despite...

Fruit-free diets for primates

Paignton Zoo has been working towards fruit-free diets for primates since about 2003, when severe dental health issues in our colobus monkeys (Colobus guereza) triggered us to investigate sugar levels in their diet. In common with most of our primates at the time their diet consisted of a commercial primate pellet and included a high proportion of fresh and dried...

Does B vitamin supplementation increase survival or weight gain stranded California sea lions

When pinnipeds enter a rehabilitation facility, they have often fasted for an unknown period of time and are nutritionally deficient. They often are then fed dead fish. Certain species of fish are deficient in vitamin B1, or thiamine, as they contain thiaminases, enzymes which break down this vitamin after the fish have died. Deficiencies in these vitamins can result in...

Effect of lutein supplementation on blood carotenoids and vitamins in a variety of marine mammals

Lutein, an oxygenated carotenoid concentrated in the retina in a variety of species, may enhance ocular health (Mares-Perlman et al., 2002). Given the high incidence of ocular pathology in captive marine mammals (Dunn et al., 1996), it was hypothesized that a lutein supplement may protect against some of these conditions. This trial examined the response of different marine mammals to...

Examination of palatability of extruded primate diet using three flavors

Commercial diets are often essential parts of captive primate nutrition. However, consumption of dry extruded products can be difficult to encourage. Food and flavor preferences have been observed in captive primates and may be affected by palatability. This study examines the palatability of a commercial extruded primate diet when compared to 3 diets containing new flavors. Mazuri® Primate Browse Biscuit...

Dietary iron absoption ant the role of tannins in Eastern (Diceros bicornis michaeli) and Southern black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis minor)

Three diet treatments were fed for at least 6 months at 6 institutions to a total of 11 black rhinoceros to assess the effect of tannins on iron status. Diet treatments were: 1.) a pellet/mixed hay diet, which reflected the diet historically fed; 2.) a pellet/mixed hay diet with quebracho added to the pellets as a source of iron binding...

Hand-rearing and growth of two ibex (Capra ibex nubiana) kids from 24 hours to weaning at 105 days of age

Two male ibex kids were hand-reared from approximately 24 h after birth. Goat production and exotic captive small ruminant management systems were researched and compared to National Research Council (NRC) energy requirements in order to design a strategy for optimal feeding and growth. Weights were collected on each ibex daily or every other day throughout rearing to evaluate gain and...

Selected eucalyptus preference by the koalas (Phascolarctos cinsereus) at the San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo has the largest group of Queensland koalas in captivity outside Australia. Many of these koalas are on loan in different facilities through North America. Due to the large number of koalas, San Diego Zoo Global maintains an over 4 ha plantation of eucalyptus. A preliminary study conducted at the San Diego Zoo found a variability in...

Quantifying the activity of captive Asian elephants through the use of a tri-axial accelerometer GPS, and behavioral observation

Quantifying activity levels and specific behaviors in captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) has proven challenging and yet is important for managing these animals in zoos. Wild elephants spend a large portion of their day foraging; while in captivity, this activity is significantly decreased. To reduce the development of health risks such as obesity and the formation of undesirable behaviors, new...

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...

Evaluation of hand-rearing formula for greater Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis)

Since opening in May 1972, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (historically known as the San Diego Wild Animal Park) has hand-raised a number of rhinoceros calves, including southern white (Ceratotherium simum simum), black (Diceros bicornis michaeli) and greater Indian (Rhinoceros unicornis). In order to improve success rates and generate appropriate protocols with any handreared neonate species, it is important...

Evaluating the stability of nutrients of cut eucalyptus sideroxylon browse for koalas

The objective of this study was to evaluate the stability of leaf nutrient contents in Eucalyptus sideroxylon browse branches over the course of one week. Twelve branches were cut and transported to the koala barn within 1 h. These branches were kept in a walk-in cooler and three branches were sampled 1.5, 45, 93, and 141 h post-harvest. The branches...

Body condition scoring in cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) advancements in methodology and visual tools for assessment

Body condition scoring (BCS) is the use of a standardized, non-invasive, cost-free tool for evaluating the degree of external adiposity of an individual (Bray, 2001). With proper validation, BCS can be applied to any species and utilizes a scale or spectrum of 1 to 5 or 1 to 9 to describe degree of fatness. BCS allows for identification of under-...

Validation of a radioimmunoassay for Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) insulin

Insulin is a principle mediator of metabolic and reproductive function and could provide an indicator for health status in elephants as in humans, equines and other species. This study was intended to validate a radioimmunoassay for insulin in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Four Asian elephant cows (age 11-39 y) at the Fort Worth Zoo were fed coastal hay only overnight,...