Nutritional analysis of mixed produce for exotic species using near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS)

Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (NIRS) has long been established as a fast, easy, and cost effective technology for measuring basic organic components utilized in diet formulations. In zoological facilities, accurate timely quality control of diet ingredients, including highly variable items and those with a short shelf life, such as produce, can be difficult. We utilized traditional wet chemistry data from...

Interpreting vitamins and mineral concentrations in serum of exotic species: lab values are not infallible

The prospect of trust and laboratory analysis is often so frightening a concept, scientists in the zoo field, including nutritionists and veterinarians, do not discuss it as more than a side note. Often we trust that specialists in biochemistry and new analysis technologies ensure proper verification of lab methodology, and would inform the consumer of any difficulties or questionable data....

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...

A different angle on geometrical analysis of diets: developing a tool for using geometry to communicate nutrition to laypeople

Geometric analysis provides an intuitive and powerful tool to examine the diet and feeding behavior of animals. Because of its visual nature, it may also be a powerful tool to assist in communications with laypeople, such as clients or zoo staff members, who are often intimidated by a more numerical analysis. A new tool, a ternary graph using color for...

Nutrient Composition of Locally Obtained Native Fishes (St. Catherines Island, GA, USA) Compared with Fish Commonly Purchased for North American Zoo Feeding Programs

Nine species of local fishes, obtained as part of a larger population study, were chemically analyzed to determine nutrient composition prior to use in feeding programs at the Wildlife Survival Center, St. Catherines Island, Georgia, USA. The nutrient composition of locally obtainable fishes was compared to that of fishes commonly used in North American zoo feeding programs. The 9 local...

Nutrient Composition of Whole Vertebrate Prey (Excluding Fish) Fed in Zoos

Although nutritionally balanced formulations, largely based upon nutrient requirements of domestic cats, are commercially available for many zoo carnivores, some choose to use whole prey as a part or all of certain captive feeding programs. Whole prey are similar in physical form to the natural diet of some carnivores, and are commonly presumed to meet nutrient requirements as long as...

Metabolomics has great potential for clinical and nutritional care and research with exotic animals

This essay explores the potential of metabolomics for exotic animal research in a zoological setting. Metabolomics is a suite of analytical tools aimed at gaining a holistic understanding of animal metabolism without prior knowledge of the compounds to be measured. These metabolic fingerprints can be used to define normal metabolism for an unstudied species, to characterize the metabolic deviation of...

FEED-RELATED HYPERVITAMINOSIS D IN A CAPTIVE FLOCK OF BUDGERIGARS (MELOPSITTACUS UNDULATAS): MORBIDITY, MORTALITIES AND PATHOLOGIC LESIONS

In the spring of 2012, the Blank Park Zoo began suffering mortalities in a flock of 229 captive Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) housed in an interactive public-feeding aviary. Clinical signs included weakness, posterior paresis, inability to fly, central nervous signs or acute death. Gross and microscopic lesions were not apparent in acutely affected deceased birds. Many birds had evidence of trauma,...

Nutrition and immunity: vitamins and minerals

Infectious diseases impinge on animal health and welfare. Appropriate nutrition may aid in minimizing the incidence of infectious diseases by optimizing immunity. Formulating diets that optimize immunity requires knowing the specific cellular mechanisms by which nutrients affect immunity, and how these mechanisms pertain to specific nutrients and pathogens. Understanding the nuances of nutrition and immunity is important because higher dietary...

NUTRIENT COMPOSITION OF FEEDSTUFFS FED TO ANIMALS IN THE NATIONAL ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS OF SOUTH AFRICA

Processes of preparing balanced diets, limitations in the supply of suitable feedstuffs to captive animals and their diversity in the zoological community are special challenges to diet management. The knowledge of the nutrients needed by the animal and what feeds will supply those nutrients, is one of the most important steps in managing diet of animals in captivity. In the...

BIOACTIVE FACTORS IN MILK: COMPARISONS ACROSS NONHUMAN PRIMATES AND HUMANS

Milk is not just a food, but also a means by which mammalian mothers signal biochemically to their offspring. Milk contains a host of signaling molecules that influence growth and development of offspring. Some of these signaling molecules have been implicated as risk factors or as being protective against the early development of metabolic diseases in humans, such as obesity...

Comparison of proximate composition of domestic cat (Felis catus), clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), snow leopard (Uncia uncia), African lion (Panthera leo), and Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) maternal milk with exotic cat hand-rearing formulae

The aims of this study are (1) to compare proximate composition of milks of five felids, the domestic cat (Felis catus), clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), snow leopard (Uncia uncia), African lion (Panthera leo), and Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) to establish if there exist species-specific differences in felid maternal milk composition, (2) to conduct proximate analyses on commercial hand-rearing formulae...

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...

Fatty acid status of free-ranging and captive wildlife – a literature survey

In human nutrition, the discrepancy between the fatty acid (FA) status of people from “original” and “civilised” living conditions is interpreted as a major contributing factor to “civilisation-related” diseases. People from “civilised” living conditions are often characterised by a low status of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), particularly of n-3 PUFA, and a low unsaturation index (UI); the proportion of n-6...

Nutrient composition of savannahs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge at Lake Buena Vista Florida is home to a wide variety of animal species. Rooms at the Lodge look out over three savannah areas housing a collection of African animals. In spring 2006, a comprehensive investigation into the nutrient composition of the savannahs at the Lodge was initiated. Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon), bahia grass (Paspalum notatum)...

Feeding the immune system: energy and protein needs for immunocompetence

The immune system utilizes a combination of constitutive and adaptive mechanisms that interact with one another to protect the host from microorganisms and infectious disease. Constitutive defenses of the innate immune system consist of effector cells, such as monocytes/macrophages and neutrophils, along with mucosal and epithelial barriers, secretions and plasma acute phase proteins. The innate immune system is capable of...

Nutrient composition of selected tropical browse species fed to zoo animals in Hawaii

The objective of this project was to determine the nutrient composition of selected browse species available and fed at the Honolulu Zoo in Hawaii, and to facilitate their use in more balanced zoo rations there and at other tropically located zoos. Samples of 26 different materials including; apple banana, areca palm, hula bamboo, golden bamboo, cape honeysuckle, coral hibiscus, dwarf...

Validation of techniques for elemental analysis in a zoo nutrition lab

Quantities of minerals in samples such as diets, excreta, and water are a key factor in identifying nutritional needs and thus are an important aspect of laboratory analyses. Perchloric acid digestion with atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS) has been a useful and valid method for quantification of physiological levels of minerals. However, recent technology has brought into consideration techniques such as...

Some basic considerations in evaluating mineral nutrition

Diets which are balanced in their nutrient content is key to good nutrition. While reasonable balance is important with all nutrients, proportion or balance is critically sensitive for certain minerals. When feeding diets where dietary mineral composition is unknown, utilizing mineral supplements which contain minerals in proportion to the needs of the species involved will draw the total diet toward...

Efficacy of chelated minerals; review of literature

The recent report (Leach and Patton, 1997) of an assay procedure for chelated minerals removes an obstacle that has long hindered consideration of chelates by the animal feed industry. In the absence of a reliable assay, it is understandable that some would hesitate to embrace a technology that’s existence could not be proven empirically. Nonetheless, circumstantial evidence kept most minds...

Effect of Vitamin D3/ Ascorbic Acid Supplementation on Growth and Tibia Characteristics of Green Water Dragons (Physignathus cocincinus, Cuvier 1829)

A preliminary experiment was conducted to investigate the interactive effect of one level of a combined dose of vitamin D3/ascorbic acid (C) supplementation on growth performance and bone development in green water dragons (Physignathus cocincinus, Cuvier 1829) .Ten forty- seven day old female green water dragons obtained from one clutch of eggs were selected for this study. From birth to...

Dietary Protein Effect on Parakeet Reproduction, Growth, and Plasma Uric Acid

The effect of dietary protein level on reproductive performance, chick growth, and plasma uric acid in parakeets was studied. The treatments consisted of three isocaloric diets (3200 kcal of metabolizable energy per kilogram) containing 13.5%, 18.2%, and 25% protein (analyzed) and a vitamin and mineral supplemented commercially available seed diet (13.4% protein, analyzed). One hundred five pairs were assigned to...

Vitamin D and ultraviolet radiation: meeting lighting needs for captive animals

Most animals meet their vitamin D needs through diet or exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. However, rickets and osteomalacia, classic consequences of calcium and vitamin D deficiency, are problems in a number of captive species, including certain basking reptiles and nursing primates, when little or no access is provided to natural sunlight.1,2,4 Vitamin D deficiency may occur even when diets...

Limitations of Plasma or Serum Analysis in Assessing Vitamin E Status of Domestic and Wild Animals

Venipuncture is a relatively noninvasive means of sampling tissues for determination of deviations from physiologic norms. To the extent that norms can be defined and deviations from norms can be associated with abnormality, blood analyses may be medically useful. However, studies of vitamin E metabolism have shown that neither the magnitude of body stores nor the availability of dietary supplies...