2019 ZWNF/NAG Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition
Polar Bear Nutrition Guidelines
Fecal Condition Scoring Resource Center
Guidelines for the Humane and Ethical Acquisition and Management of Vertebrate Feeder Animals (Excluding Fish)
Body Condition Scoring Resource Center
Zoo Nutrition Myth: A fruit is a fruit

Nutrition utilization by and diet preference of American white pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) when offered diets of channel catfish and (or) grass carp

Twelve pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) captured in northeast Mississippi were used to determine nutrient metabolism when consuming channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) and(or) grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). Another objective was to determine the dietary preference of pelicans when allowed to consume catfish and carp. For the 7-day metabolism trial pelicans were allotted to one of three treatment diets (4 birds/diet): catfish only,...

Nutrient composition of whole crayfish eaten by hellbender salamanders (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis spp.)

Four species of native Missouri crayfish identified as foods of the Ozark hellbender salamander (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis bishopi), were analyzed for nutrient content including water, proximate composition (crude protein, crude fat, crude fiber, and ash), as well as vitamin A, vitamin E, total carotenoids, and select mineral concentrations. Additionally, fatty acids in crayfish were examined and compared with krill as a...

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...

Hand-rearing and growth of a grey seal (Halichoerus grypus)

Typical grey seal lactation lasts 15-21 days, followed by abrupt weaning by the dam and a several weeks long period of relatively significant weight loss while the pup learns to feed and fend for itself. It was with this natural history in mind that we formulated a grey seal hand-rearing protocol pending the birth of a female pup in early...

Evaluation of type I and II collagen biomarkers for the detection of joint pathology in elephants

The first objective of this trial was to evaluate whether biomarkers for type I and type II collagen were detectable in elephant serum samples. Two commercially available enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent (ELISA) assays for the detection of the crosslinking telopeptides of type I collagen (CTX-I) and type II collagen (CTX-II) were validated for use with elephant sera. The second objective was to...

The growth responses of two polar bear (Ursus maritimus) cubs to regimented dietary energy

The growth of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) cubs depends to a large extent on litter size and the provision of maternal care, specifically, milk production and the sharing of prey (Derocher and Stirling, 1996, Robbins et al., 2012). Cubs in most subpopulations stay with their mothers for up to 2 ½ years and rely solely on maternal milk during the...

Comparative crop milk composition in grantivorous and frugivorous Columbidae

Crop milk, a glandular secretion produced by doves, pigeons, and some species of penguins and flamingoes, was collected from five different species of dove squabs at the Memphis Zoo between day 0 and 14 post-hatching. These species (Ptilinopus jambu, Ptilinopus magnificus, Gallicolumba luzonica, Gallicolumba rufigula, and Streptopelia decaocto), range from primarily frugivorous to primarily granivorous representatives of Columbidae. The samples...

Metabolic Bone Disease in lizards: Prevalence and potential for monitoring bone health

A consensus that metabolic bone disease (MBD) is the nutritional pathology (NP) most likely to occur in captive lizards was apparent in a study at the Ontario Veterinary College Teaching Hospital (OVCTH) and in two surveys on NP in accredited zoos in Canada and the United States. The prevalence, pathogensis and diagnosis of MBD relative to the OVCTH and zoological...

Zoo nutrition with budget constraints

It is becoming apparent to the zoo community that a quality nutrition program is a key to improved animal health, and potentially added contentment of the animal. Improved nutrition can also lead to enhanced breeding programs. However, even realizing this, many zoological institutions can not yet justify the cost of a full-time nutritionist. Therefore, a question often asked is, “How...

So your director wants a farm in the zoo

It seems that humans have always craved animal contact. Even at a zoo, a place designed for wild animals, visitors want and even expect to be able to touch an animal. Petting corrals, touch tanks, feeding stations, etc. are the most popular exhibits at a zoo, especially for families with young children. Contact areas can provide a valuable educational experience...

Considerations for ethical acquisition and treatment of feeder animals in zoos

Zoos, as a rule, have stringent standards for acquisition and care of the animals in their collection. Following this philosophy, it also is important to heed similar considerations for “feeder” animals. Feeder animals are those utilized to feed carnivorous and omnivorous collection animals that consume prey items as all, or part, of their diet. The purpose of this discussion is...

Hand-rearing hoofstock: a team approach

There are many reasons for hand-rearing neonatal hoofstock in captivity. From 1989 until 1992 the Fort Worth Zoo had no male springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) or dama gazelles (Gazella dama). In 1993, when males were added to these herds, offspring began to be produced. Calves were rejected by first time mothers who had also been hand-reared, and by dams with a...

Evaluation and Reformulation of Diets for Captive Aye-Aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)

The feeding choices of wild aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) have been studied recently and found to include insects, insect larvae, nuts, bark, fungi, and fruits. Proximate analyses, some mineral, and some fat-soluble vitamin analyses of commonly consumed food items have been performed on these choices but there are no published data available which have quantified nutrient intake in captivity in relation...

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)...

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...

When to feed on gums: temporal patterns of gummivory in wild tamarins, Saguinus mystax and Saguinus fuscicollis (Callitrichiae)

This study examines the temporal patterning of gum feeding in two species of sympatric tamarin monkeys, Saguinus mystax and Saguinus fuscicollis, during the diurnal activity period. The number and duration of visits to gum sources and number of gum feeding records are used as parameters to analyze the gum feeding itinerary. Both visits to gum sources and gum feeding records...

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...

Comparative Nutrition of Grizzly and Black Bears

The basic nutrition of North American bears is poorly understood because most research has been limited to field studies describing natural history and a few projects focusing on hibernation in captive animals. The facilities necessary for extensive nutrition research with captive bears have been lacking, but in 1986 Washington State University, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S....

Monitoring Food Intake of a Pair of Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos, (Cacatua leadbeateri)

The food consumption of a pair of Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos, Cacatua leadbeateri, (Leadbeater’s or Pink Cockatoos) was monitored at the Metro Toronto Zoo (MTZ). The diet included a commercial pellet, MTZ “psittacine mix”, mixed whole fruits and dried fruits and a seed mixture, the latter historically offered for behavioural enrichment. The diet had been offered to MTZ psittacines for several...

Wrobel ML, Twinney JK, Valdes EV. 1995. Monitoring food intake of a pair of Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos, (Cacatua leadbeateri) in Proceedings of the First AZA Nutrition Advisory Group Conference, Scarborough, OT Canada.

Chemical composition of Southeast Asian Colobine foods

Digestive disturbances have been considered a major health issue among captive colobines [Janssen, 1994; Calle et al., 1995]. Inadequate or inappropriate fiber sources may underlie some of these problems. Apart from maintaining normal gastrointestinal function [Van Soest, 1994 ], one critical issue in husbandry of these species is the necessity of providing a suitable diet for supporting pregastric [Stevens, 1988]...

Common aquatic ingredient nutrient analyses: balancing practical feeding with long term aquatic health

Optimizing dietary formulations for aquatic species is one of the most challenging aspects of nutrition for exotics. Whether designing diets for elasmobranches, fish in a multi-species aquarium, or marine mammals, understanding the nutrients provided in the food is essential. Ideally, designing aquatic diets utilizes both known body weights of the target species, and analyzed nutrient contents of diet items. Repercussions...

Increasing animal food biosecurity guidelines in the presence of a foreign animal disease outbreak: Exotic Newcastle Disease

Nutritionists have emphasized the importance of quality control and food safety as a routine component of zoo animal feeding programs. Formal programs, including HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) plans, have been implemented to evaluate the steps food goes through between receipt on-site and consumption by the animals for which we are responsible. However, until recently, zoos and aquaria...

Non-invasive methods for nutritional research at the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust

This poster/paper presents a review of nutritional research at the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust (JWPT). JWPT is an international conservation organization working to save animals from extinction. At present JWPT does not employ a full-time nutritionists and yet in recent years at least 16 species have been the focus of nutritional research, a list which includes reptile, birds and mammals....

Variation in voluntary intake of feeds by captive giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis): Implications for meeting nutrient requirements

Data prompting evaluation of captive giraffe feed selection were obtained from a modified reversal study investigating the effects of dietary physical form and carbohydrate profile. Six non-lactating adult female giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) were used in seven 21-day periods. Supplements were: an experimental non-pelleted browser supplement (EF) and a mixture of 75% Mazuri Browser Breeder (PMI Nutrition International, LLC, Brentwood,...

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...

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...

Considerations to maximize nutrient supplementation of feeder insects

Providing a nutritionally appropriate diet to amphibians and other insectivores under human care has long proved challenging. The number of available insect species is limited and typically deficient in key nutrients such as calcium and vitamin A. Until more nutritionally balanced options are available, actions should be undertaken to improve the nutritional quality of feeder insects such as the domestic...

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...