A comparative study of blood lipids, electrolytes, and stress levels between captive and semi-captive orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) under tropical conditions

Blood samples were collected from 27 orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) (14 captive and 13 semicaptive) and were analyzed for triglycerides, total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLC), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLC), sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, phosphate, glucose, Cortisol levels, total white blood cells (WBC) and WBC differential count. There were significant differences (P<0.05) in total cholesterol and HDLC level between...

Are super dose concentrations of vitamin E really necessary for reproduction in birds?

Vitamin E requirements for exotic avian species remain undetermined and await investigation. As a result, diets formulated for captive exotic birds rely on the development of target ranges and feeding guidelines in order to minimize the risk of developing deficiencies and/or toxicities. These target ranges are commonly based on the requirements of domestic poultry, with the addition of calculation factors...

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...

Fiber digestibility in black lemurs (Eulemur Macaco Macaco)

Black lemurs are classified as generalist feeders, existing on both fruits and leaves depending upon seasonal availability. In captivity they are typically fed a diet of commercially manufactured primate biscuits and readily available produce, both of which are limited in fermentable fiber. Digestibility trials were conducted on fourteen black lemurs, housed in 4 groups (4, 3, 3 & 2) and...

Plasma electrolyte concentration for African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) and their relationship to habitat type and salt supplementation

African penguins are common display animals in North American zoos and aquariums. At present 43 American Zoo and Aquarium (AZA) accredited institutions, maintaining over 700 African penguins, participate in a species survival plan (SSP) for this species. There are currently some institutions that maintain their birds in freshwater without salt supplementation. No associated health issues have been reported by these...

Dietary intake and digestion in snow leopards (Uncia uncia) at the Bronx Zoo

Although the nutritional requirements of the domestic cat are well known and various investigations have been conducted with larger exotic felids no published information on digestion in snow leopards, Uncia uncia, is available. Two three-day intake and digestion trials were conducted on 4.6 adult (ages 3-15 years) captive-born snow leopards at the Bronx Zoo, Bronx, NY in December, 1996. Routine...

Comparison of parathyroid hormone, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium in serum and urine of nyala (Tragelaphus angassi) on concentrates or a forage only diet

The nyala (Tragelaphus angasii) herd at Busch Gardens Tampa has historically had one of the highest incidences of Johne’s disease (Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis, Mptb) within the collection. A 10-yr epidemiologic review at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay revealed 27/83 (32.5%) Mptb culture positive individuals. At the time of this trial, 20/21 positive animals were also noted to be hypocalcemia. It was...

Viverrid digestive physiology: comparison of binturongs (Artictis binturong) and dwarf mongoose (Helgale parvula)

A preliminary investigation was conducted to compare intake and digestion in the largest and smallest members of the Viverridae family, highly frugivorous binturongs (Arctictis binturong; n=2) and the more carnivorous dwarf mongoose (Helogale parvula; n=6) housed in groups. Normal zoo diets were monitored over two 4-day periods, with total feed intake and fecal output measured.

Serum survey of Vitamins A and E in Sharks

Although sharks are known to have unique aspects of lipid metabolism, fat-soluble vitamin concentrations have not been widely reported in the literature. Serum or plasma samples were obtained from eight species of sharks: black-tipped (Carcharhinus brevipinna; n=1), bonnethead (Sphyrna tiburo; n=7), brown (C. plumbeus; n=16), bull (C. leucas; n=14), lemon (Negaprion brevirostis; n=30), nurse (Ginglymostoma cirratum; n=14), sand tiger (Carcharias...

Intake and digestion in babirusa (Babyousa babyrussa) and red river hogs (Potamochoerus poreus) fed high fiber diets

Previous studies suggest that fiber-digestion capacity of exotic swine species has not been challenged in captive feeding programs. Zoo diets are often low in dietary fiber, which may contribute to obesity, with accompanying joint and possible reproductive problems. Five-day feeding trials were conducted with 3 adult (2.1) babirusa (BAB) (Babyrousa babyrussa) housed separately, and 2 (1.1) adult red river hogs...

Nutrient composition of American flamingo crop milk

Crop milk samples (30 mL) were collected from juvenile (6-7 wks old) American flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber ruber, n = 14) in the Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve (El Cuyo, Mexico) on the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. The samples were analyzed for dry matter, crude protein, fat, minerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, sodium, potassium, iron, copper, molybdenum, zinc), vitamin A,...

Summary of mineral and iron binding polyphenolic plant compound levels in diets offered captive black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) in 3 zoos and 1 ranch in Texas

Hemosiderosis is commonly noted in captive black rhinoceros but not free-ranging animals. Animals held in a ranch setting, offered a diet containing at least 46% browse on a dry matter basis, do not experience the same health problems as animals in zoos. It is known that plants contain polyphenolic compounds that can bind iron and make it unavailable for absorption....

CD-ROM teaching unit on the digestive system of vertebrates

The present-day vertebrates are comprised of approximately 45,000 species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals that have adapted to a wide-range of freshwater, marine, and terrestrial habitats. Their digestive system provides for the assimilation of the energy and nutrients required for maintenance, growth, and reproduction. This is accomplished by complex series of episodic events that reduce food to a...

Nutritional status in captive Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncates)

Nutritional status of captive dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) was examined using biochemical analysis. Voluntary blood samples, obtained from four healthy captive bottlenose dolphins at Brookfield Zoo, were analyzed for vitamin D metabolites [25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D], lipids (total cholesterol, triacylglycerides, HDL-cholesterol, and LDL-cholesterol), and fatty acids. Fish fed to these dolphins were analyzed for dry matter, crude protein, fat, energy, vitamin D,...

Effect of diet on body composition and growth parameters in juvenile seahorses (Hippocampus spp.) at the Toronto Zoo

To date, all information on the feeding of seahorses (Hippocampus spp.) is contained in fish hobbyist magazines emphasizing acceptance of feed rather than its nutritive value. The juvenile stage is most critical in seahorse development and the most problematic in terms of feeding. This study compared the effects of two typical diets, Neomysis integer and Mysis relicta, on the body...

The effects of fiber type and fiber levels on digestibility and volatile fatty acid formation in the Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus)

The diets of free-ranging orangutans are high in structural cell wall material, which comprises the fiber fraction in plants [Hamilton and Galdikas, 1994]. Microbial populations residing in the hindgut accomplish fiber digestion via fermentation. Animals use volatile fatty acids, end products of fiber fermentation, as a source of energy. Readily available produce items contain small amounts of fermentable fiber [Schmidt...

Nutrition of the enigmatic browser: Comparative bioenergetics, digestion and feeding of northern versus tropical ungulates

Wild ungulates use time, habitat, and food in complex ways in relation to social, security, comfort, and bioenergetic needs to optimization fitness from decisions during day-to-day living. Species in highly seasonal environments experience changes in nutritional requirements in association with adaptations to quality and quantity of available food. Evolutionary implications are closely tied to seasonal bioenergetic cycles and become extremely...

Comparative protein requirements of three species of parrots with distinct dietary specializations

Highly specialized nectarivorous and frugivorous birds have overcome the constraints of low dietary protein levels. Proposed physiological mechanisms that enable such specialists to subsist on low-protein diets include low protein requirements, low endogenous protein losses, high feed intake, and high protein digestibilities. These traits were compared among nectarivorous red lories (Eos bornea), frugivorous Pesquet’s parrots (Psittrichas fulgidus), and granivorous budgerigars...

Survey of circulating retinol (Vitamin A) and tocopheral (Vitamin E) concentrations in nesting marine turtles

Although marine turtles are relatively well-studied endangered and threatened species, critical discontinuities exist in the literature regarding numerous significant blood values, especially those of free-ranging populations. Gaining a better understanding of marine turtle ecological physiology is an urgent priority, considering the impact such information could have on conservation management plans and population health assessments [Bolten and Bjorndal, 1992; Raphael et...

The interaction between factors that affect the daily time spent grazing by ruminants

The animal-plant interaction between grazing ruminants and the grasses and forbs that make up temperate pasture swards is complex. The interaction is ultimately expressed in each mouthful of herbage (bite) ingested by the grazing animal. Each bite is characterised by quantity (bite weight), quality (species composition, plant part, plant maturity), and the time taken to apprehend, crop, chew and swallow...

Influence of fiber source on apparent digestibility, rate passage and fecal consistency in small felids fed a beef-based carnivore diet

In a crossover design, four adult animals, a male and female Amur leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis euptilura) and a male and female Turkmenistan caracal (Caracal caracal michaelis) were fed three fresh-frozen beef based diets containing different sources of fiber; beet pulp (BP), fructooligosaccharides/cellulose blend (FOS), and wood cellulose (Solka Floe®) (WC). Assessment included food intake, fecal consistency, animal body weight,...

Vitamin D intakes by cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) and associated serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations

Rickets and osteomalacia have been reported frequently in captive callitrichids. Some have assumed that these conditions are a consequence of unmet, unusually high requirements for vitamin D and that these high requirements are characteristic of all New World primates. As a consequence, certain commercial diets formulated for New World primates contain such high concentrations of vitamin D that their consumption...

Effect of dietary fiber concentration on apparent digestibility and digesta passage in non-human primates. II. Hindgut-and Foregut fermenting folivores.

Two test diets with different acid detergent fiber (ADF) concentrations (15% ADF, 30% ADF) were fed to seven adult hindgut- and seven adult foregut-fermenting primates. Apparent digestibilities (%) of dietary dry matter (DM), gross energy (GE), and fiber components (neutral detergent fiber [NDF], ADF, hemicellulose [HC], and cellulose [C]) were measured. Rates of digesta transit (TT1) and retention (RGIT) times...

Effect of dietary fiber concentration on apparent digestibility and digesta passage in non-human primates. I. Ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegate variegate and V. v. ruba)

Two test diets with different fiber concentrations (15% acid detergent fiber [ADF], 30% ADF) were fed to five adult female ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata). Apparent digestibility (%) of dry matter (DM), gross energy (GE), and fiber components (neutral detergent fiber [NDF], ADF, hemicellulose [HC], and cellulose [C]) were measured. Rates of digesta transit (TT1) and retention time (RGIT) were assessed...

Vitamin D metabolites 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D and Kidney function indices and the relationship to diet in Goeldi’s monkeys (Callimico goeldii)

In Brookfield Zoo’s Goeldi’s monkey colony, a large number of deaths related to renal disease has been documented. Review of post-mortem results from Goeldi’s monkeys in the past 20 years revealed that in deaths of animals over 18 months of age, renal disease was a primary pathologic diagnosis. Although the nutrient requirements of Goeldi’s monkeys have not been described, these...

The use of fecal inoculum to determine the rate and extent of in vitro fermentation for cellulose, beet pulp, citrus pulp, and citrus pectin across three lemur species: Varecia variegate, Eulemur fulvus, and Hapalemur griseus

In order to estimate fermentative capacity among lemur species, four fiber substrates were tested across three herbivorous species: Eulemur fulvus, Hapalemur griseus, and Varecia variegata. Substrates were cellulose (CE), beet pulp (BP), citrus pulp (CP), and citrus pectin (PE), which ranged in composition from completely insoluble fiber (CE) to completely soluble fiber (PE), respectively. Animals were offered the same diet...

Testing a vitamin supplement paste in Jackass Penguins (Spheniscus demersus)

According to the literature, piscivorous species fed dead, frozen fish in zoos have been shown to require supplemental vitamin E and thiamin (Engelhardt and Geraci, 1978, Robbins, 1993). The Rotterdam Zoo supplemented jackass penguins (Spheniscus demersus) with extra vitamins since 1991 by injecting liquid vitamins into the defrosted pilchards (Sardina pilchardus), mackerel (Scomber scombrus) and herring (Clupea harangus) fed to...

Energy metabolizability and nutrient digestibility in the magpie (Pica pica)

A number of studies have been conducted to determine energy requirements in avian species. However, this is a complex area and one which is driven by a number of factors. For example, environment is one of the major factors which governs energy requirements, and the metabolizable energy requirements of avians housed in controlled conditions probably do not reflect the normal...