Toronto Zoo Announces ZWNF Resident
Assessing the Nutritional Welfare and Status of Animals
Mazuri Technical Associate Position Opening
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

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.

Browse – how much is enough? The challenges of assessing browse intake

Browse is an important dietary component for many herbivore diets. Animals such as giraffe, black rhino, kudu, bongo, gerenuk, porcupines and many others consume a significant amount of browse as their natural diet. Providing sufficient quantities and appropriate browse species is one of the most challenging aspects of feeding animal collections in a zoological setting. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we...

Monoozygenase conversion in two anura species

It is unknown whether pro-vitamin A supplements used in captive diets of amphibian insectivores provide the animals with nutrients they can convert for their vitamin A needs. This research sought to evaluate if activity of ?–carotene 15,15’-monooxygenase was present in the liver and small intestine of two anura species, as gauged by the conversion of ?–carotene to retinal. Liver and...

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...

A FIELD GUIDE TO AZA ACCREDITATION FROM A NUTRITION PERSPECTIVE

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) maintains a rigorous accreditation process in order to ensure that AZA-member zoos meet the highest standards of animal care, welfare and management; veterinary care; business management; education; and conservation responsibility. This process is managed by the Accreditation Commission, and is implemented at individual facilities via the inspection team (a team of three –...

A survey of the nutrient content and intake of the dry season diet consumed by captive Grand Cayman iguanas (Cyclura lewisi)

Nutrient concentrations were determined in foods consumed by both free ranging and captive Grand Cayman iguanas (Cyclura lewisi). Plant collection and nutrient intake was measured during the dry season, when mating is known to occur. Fourteen species of plants known to be consumed by free ranging iguanas, or thought to be historically consumed when their distribution was not limited, were...

Tools and techniques for successfully grinding fish for tube feed formulas

Grinding fish in a blender is very complex because the fish often need to be processed to some degree and there are many choices of blenders. Suggested blenders to use include Waring blenders of various sizes, homogenizers, or smaller, but more affordable, Magic BulletÒ or NutriBulletÒ. Using a meat grinder, chopping, filleting, skinning, and successive blending are all methods of...

A streamlined procedure for the determination of trace elements in foods

Considerable analytical challenges were imposed on food chemists when Congress passed the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 (NLEA). When this law was ratified, labeling of fourteen food nutrients became mandatory, and thirty-four others voluntary. Many Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) validated methods for foods are matrix or analyte specific. Developing rugged, generic methodology for all foods became...

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...

Diet Charts: The Keeper’s Tool and Aide

For most institutions, whether public or private, conservation of endangered species is a high priority. Conservationist will use a variety of tools available to aid them in meeting their goals. Healthy reproductive animals are vital to the management of a viable captive population. One important tool, integral to successful survivorship of animals in our care, is dietary monitoring. One of...

Influence of diet and time on fat and retinol concentrations in adult feeder crickets

Many captive amphibians are fed supplemented crickets (Acheta domesticus) as a basal diet. There is concern that some amphibians have unique requirements for certain vitamins, particularly vitamin A due to its association with squamous metaplasia of mucous producing epithelia, resulting in inability to capture prey. Because vitamin A is fat soluble, it was hypothesized that increasing fat concentration of crickets...

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,...

Purchasing forage for a diverse group of exotic animals beyond the nutrient analysis

The approach of this paper is from a forage utilization perspective as it pertains to providing forage for the diverse, and often non-food related, purposes of a zoological institution. The paper covers aspects of forage production often over-looked or poorly understood by zoo professionals yet vital to the health and wellbeing of our captive collections. The purpose of the paper...

VITILIGO ASSOCIATED WITH HYPOVITAMINOSIS D IN MALAYAN FLYING FOX (PTEROPUS VAMPYRUS) AND ISLAND FLYING FOX (PTEROPUS HYPOMELANUS)

Eight Malayan flying fox (Pteropus vampyrus) and three island flying fox (Pteropus hypomelanus) presented for varying degrees of skin depigmentation of the wing membranes, face, and feet. Lesions were observed 6 months after the bats were placed in a newly constructed indoor-only exhibit. Skin biopsies indicated segmental loss of melanin pigment within the epidermis; skin scrapes and culture results were...

Microbiological and temperature evaluation as part of a comprehensive raw meat quality control program

Raw meat and raw meat-based diets are potentially hazardous food items used to maintain zoo carnivores. It is important to monitor handling temperature of meat throughout the preparation process to insure it is maintained below the appropriate threshold temperature (4°C or 40°F). Handling raw meat below this temperature threshold minimizes growth of harmful microorganisms. Three frozen raw meat samples were...

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...

Case Study: Elimination diet for a female orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus abelii) with digestive problems at the Toronto Zoo

Ramai (ISIS #20164) is a female Sumatran orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus abeiii) who was born at the Toronto Zoo on 4 October 1985. She was parent-reared, and currently weighs approximately 62 kg. Ramai has had a history of loose stool and skin problems. A fecal scoring chart was developed to illustrate the range of fecal consistency observed in orangutans at the...

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...

Optimum feeding and dietary formulation for ornamental fish species

The formulation of adequate diets for organisms in an aquatic environment gives a greater challenge to those involved in their care, compared to terrestrial species. The aim of this paper was to highlight all the factors which should be considered when formulating a maintenance feeding program for ornamental fish. The provision of energy and other nutrients to poikilothermic animals can...

Development of hand-rearing techniques for Roseate Spoonbills, Ajaia ajaja, at the Fort Worth Zoo

The Fort Worth Zoo has held a breeding flock of roseate spoonbills (Ajaia ajaja), since the 1960’s and has had more success breeding and parent-rearing roseate spoonbills (Ajaia ajaja), than any other institution worldwide. To infuse new genetic material into the North American population, Fort Worth began collecting hatchlings and eggs from free-ranging birds for hand- rearing. Fledglings were first...

Chemical composition of foods eaten by African colobines compared with Southeast Asian colobines

Nutritional analyses of foods eaten by wild colobine populations can be useful for understanding colobine nutritional needs, crucial for successful maintenance of captive populations. A previous report by Nijboer et al. summarized the mineral and proximate data for browse composition of three species of Southeast Asian colobines. The authors noted that the diets of these wild colobines contained substantially more...

Evaluation of nutrient composition of common invertebrate feeders fed different supplemental diets

While the complete nutrient composition of invertebrates commonly fed to insectivorous animals has been studied, research evaluating the differences among supplemental diets marketed to improve their overall nutrient composition is limited. Previous studies have focused on calcium intake in crickets, and to a lesser extent in mealworms, but diets for superworms have not been evaluated. This study evaluated the proximate...

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...

From Farm to Fang: Sourcing Carcasses for Carnivores

Incorporating large whole prey items into the diet of carnivores (big cats, condors, and more) can provide complete nutrition – from the meat, bones, organs and even fur, as a source of fiber – with the beneficial effects of stimulating activity and promoting species-specific, naturalistic feeding behaviors. San Diego Zoo Global is evaluating potential addition of large whole prey items...

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...

A retrospective study evaluating vitamin E supplementation in pelicans and plasma alpha-tocopherol concentrations in pelicans, storks, and flamingos

A retrospective study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of two vitamin E supplement forms in pink-backed pelicans (Pelecanus rufescens). The forms were a paste supplying 100 IU vitamin E daily or a capsule supplying 10.5 IU vitamin E daily. Baseline blood alpha-tocopherol concentrations were 7.15 ug/ml in 1998. After 10 months receiving vitamin E in the capsule form, the...

Development and Application of a New Insect-Based Complete Diet for Insectivorous Mammals

Commercial complete diet options for insectivores are very limited and most are an extruded diet. The extrusion process requires a high level of carbohydrates, which is not appropriate for animals that consume insects. Insects do not contain high levels of carbohydrates, they are mainly fat and protein. Chitin is an important component of insects, found in the exoskeleton, it acts...

The Care and Management of Chimpanzees in Captive Environments

Chimpanzee diets in captivity have changed dramatically over the course of the last 90+ years. The lack of adequate foods to meet the nutritional needs of the species was a major contributing factor to chimpanzee mortality in the early years of zoo management. The development of what was thought to be a nutritionally complete primate diet, or monkey chow, has...