Job Posting: San Francisco Zoo – Nutrition Kitchen Manager
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

Fatty acid status of free-ranging and captive black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis): correlation to the use of grain-based products

It has been suspected that the fatty acid (FA) status of captive black rhinoceroses (Diceros bicornis) differs drastically from their free-ranging conspecifics, due to the difference in FA pattern between the natural forage and the captive diet. Natural forage of black rhinoceros, and temperate browse, contains a n-6/n-3 FA ratio (expressed as % of total FA) of 0.1-0.3. In contrast,...

A contribution to the trace element nutrition of captive black rhinoceroses (Diceros bicornis)

Due to the potential involvement of trace mineral imbalances in health problems observed in captive rhinoceroses, there has been recent interest in trace mineral provision by and absorption from captive diets. In one investigation, forage of free-ranging black rhinoceroses contained, on average, 6.5 (range: 3.0-12.2) mg copper (Cu)/kg dry matter (DM), 113 (29-215) mg iron (Fe)/kg DM, 89 (11-269) mg...

Nutritional considerations for maintaining aquarium fishes

A broad spectrum of nutritional issues faces aquariums. Although some of these issues may appear very basic, such as maintaining adequate food supplies or ensuring their adequate distribution and consumption within an exhibit, there is an underlying complexity created by the interrelationships of many nutrition-related issues within aquatic systems. This paper briefly describes several of the most prevalent issues facing...

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...

Vitamin A supplementation via cricket dusting: the effects of dusting fed and fasted crickets of three sizes using two different supplements on nutrient content

This study was undertaken to determine the efficacy in delivering vitamin A supplementation via dusting feed crickets (Acheta domestica) to reptiles and amphibians, many of whom have shown vitamin A deficiencies at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and other institutions. While there have been multiple previous studies regarding supplementation in crickets, the majority have focused on calcium supplementation. Levels of vitamin A...

Nutrition as a Major Facet of Reptile Conservation

The importance of nutrition has not received much recognition in conservation biology. However, captive breeding is only possible if nutritional requirements are met, and effective habitat management requires an evaluation of nutritional resources. Three examples involving reptile conservation are presented. The formulation and testing of experimental meal-type diets proved essential for the large scale rearing of green iguanas (Iguana iguana)...

Feeding strategies in wild carnivores: progress report of a model approach

Feeding strategies among wild carnivores are still partly unexplained. Carnivore mass is a determining factor in the choice for a specific range in prey size (Carbone et al., 1999). According to Carbone et al. (2007), two dietary groups can be distinguished: small carnivores hunting on small prey (< 20 kg) and large carnivores hunting on large prey (> 20 kg)....

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 of an alternative feline diet at the Toronto Zoo

For many species of cats, little is known about their specific dietary needs. Although there have been some studies concerning digestibility and general nutrition of exotic cats species (Crissey et al. 1997; Allen et al. 1995; Wynne, 1989; Dierenfeld, 1987; Hackenburger and Atkinson, 1983; Barbiers et al. 1982), most information has been extrapolated from data concerning domestic cats (NRC, 1978).

Growth rates and nutrient intake of hand-rearing pink-backed pelicans (Pelecanus rufescens) at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Between December 18, 2006 and February 12, 2007, four pink-backed pelican (Pelecanus rufescens) chicks were hatched and hand reared at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (DAK). A pelican hand rearing protocol was developed based on that of the San Diego Zoological Society. The diet was designed to consist of combinations of capelin, smelt, sardines and herring, along with a vitamin and mineral...

Normal serum vitamin E values in giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla)

Baseline serum alpha-tocopherol (alpha-toc) values in captive giant anteaters have not previously been defined. Cats and dogs are typical models for carnivore nutritional physiology and may prove useful for evaluating vitamin E (vit E) nutrition in zoo carnivores. The objective of this study was to determine serum alpha-toc as a measure of vit E status in captive anteaters, for comparison...

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...

A survey of the nutrient content of foods consumed by free ranging and captive Anegada iguanas (Cyclura pinguis)

Nutrient concentrations were determined in foods consumed by both free ranging and captive Anegada iguanas (Cyclura pinguis). Twenty-two species of plants, known to be consumed by free ranging iguanas during the dry season, were collected and analyzed. The plant parts were separated and categorized for analysis as flowers, fruits, or leaves. Mean nutrient concentrations and standard errors (SEM), on a...

Relationship between feeding time and food intake in hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas) and the value of feeding time as predictor of food intake.

The relationship among time spent feeding, number of feeding bouts, feeding bout length, and the amount of food ingested was determined in a study of 18 hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas) at the German Primate Center (DPZ). There was considerable within- and between-subject variation in all four variables. Feeding time and number of feeding bouts could explain only 30% and 40%,...

Small Ruminants: Digestive Capacity Differences between Frugivores and Browsers?

Small ruminants are generally classified as either browsers or frugivores. We hypothesize that browsers may be able to digest insoluble fiber diets better than can frugivores. We compared intake and digestion in the following four species: two Cervidae: red brocket (Mazama americana), body weight 20 kg and pudu (Pudu pudu), 9 kg, and two Bovidae: bay duiker (Cephalophusdorsalis), 12 kg...

Sustainability issues come home: choosing seafood for zoo and aquarium animals

It has been have taken for granted that wild populations of seafood species would always be readily available. Unfortunately, there are limitations and a continued trend in the decline of fish populations both in the United States and around the globe. At the same time, the demand for seafood is increasing. Captive piscivorous animals must be provided with seafood to...

INGREDIENT VARIABILITY, STABILITY, AND PROCESSING EFFECTS

Often the assumption when constructing diets for pets is that nutrient requirements are a fixed number found in a table. Likewise, we often hear of nutrient values for ingredients and assume that they are a constant. Common sense tells us both assumptions are false. For ingredients these values are subject to wide ranges in variation from supplier to supplier, from...

Browse species preference and palatability of Colobus guereza kikuyuensis at the Denver Zoological Gardens

In the wild, folivorous primates have access to leaves of many different species. At the Denver Zoological Gardens (DZG), in Denver, Colorado, Colobus guereza kikuyuensis primates consume most vegetation presented to them, thus maintenance of vegetation in an animal exhibit is challenging. It is observed that insufficient browse often results in behavior concerns such as pacing or lack of mental...

The good, the bad and the ugly: Feedstuff evaluation and quality control

Overall diet quality is controlled by the quality of the individual items that comprise the diet. This seems intuitively obvious, but is “easier said than done” when it is applied to zoo diets. Usually we use multiple items in combination (complete feeds, produce, meat, fish, whole prey, etc.) to meet the nutrient needs of the animals in our care, and...

Food Intake Patterns in Captive South African Fur Seals (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus)

Food intake data from 1990-94 from eight South African fur seals at the Metro Toronto Zoo were evaluated. From the data collected, fish species, total fish offered and total fish consumed were summarized on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis. Proximate analysis was performed on samples of each fish species. Gross energy intake (GEI) was determined based on the...

Hemochromatosis (Iron Storage Disease) in Fruit Bats

Six Egyptian fruit bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus) were either found dead or presented with chronic liver disease associated with accumulations of iron (Fe) within the liver as high as 2.3% dry weight. Two other fruit bat species, the Indian flying fox (Pteropus giganteus) and the grey- headed flying fox (Pteropus poliocephalus), also had elevated liver Fe levels but without clinical evidence...

Calcium gut loading of mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) and the benefit of gel water over apple slices for maximum calcium gut loading

The importance of gut loading insects with calcium is a critical component of an insectivorous animal’s diet. The insect used in this study for calcium supplementation was the regular mealworm (Tenebrio molitor). The standard operating procedure for most gut loading protocols includes feeding high-water produce items (i.e., apples, leafy green vegetables, etc.) in conjunction with a high calcium insect supplement....

Hypomagnesemia, hypocalcemia, and ruminitis in ungulates: an under-recognized syndrome?

Macro- and microminerals are critical in maintaining normal physiologic processes. Requirements for domestic ungulates have been documented and are available through the National Research Council (NRC). Normal values have not been established for most wildlife species. Due to specialized feeding habits, collection of baseline data for each species is needed to develop complete diets and detect nutritional diseases. Several cases...

You can’t get blood from a stone, but you need to get it somewhere- vampire bat (Desmondus rotundus) feeding logistics

The beef blood collection procedures for three AZA zoological institutions to feed Desmodus rotundus are reviewed. Blood collected for the Philadelphia Zoo is done at slaughter and an anticoagulant is added. Blood collected for the Cincinnati Zoo is also done at slaughter but no anticoagulant is added and blood collected for the Brookfield Zoo is taken from live animals within...

Ideal protein and zoo carnivores: further considerations for optimizing diets

Carnivorous zoo species are often fed “natural product” diets, i.e. raw meat-based meals for large felids, whole vertebrate prey, entire fish for aquatic or otherwise piscivorous species, and/or a variety of invertebrates consumed by insectivores. In general, these types of diets contain relative excess protein compared to nutritional requirements established for domestic cats and dogs, (NRC, 2006) or production species...

Development of a standardized body condition score for cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)

Standardized body condition indices (BCI) or scores (BCS) provide practical management tools for assessment of diet utilization and general quantification of fat stores that an animal carries. They have been widely developed and applied with livestock, domestic cats and dogs, and more recently, to various wildlife species, primarily hoofstock. Comparisons between BCS developed for free-ranging versus captive wildlife species have...

Nutritional challenges associated with feeding a multispecies exhibit: a series of case studies

Feeding multi-species exhibits can be challenging in many ways. The first is ensuring that each species, as well as, each individual has access to a diet without excessive competition from another species. The second is ensuring that animals with different nutrient requirements are able to consume the appropriate diet. The third is to ensure that animals do not consume a...

Evaluating a Submersible Diet for Ducks and Other Species

The use of an alginate-calcium complex to formulate a durable submersible diet was evaluated in a feeding trial with growing ducklings. Growth, feed intake (FI), gain:feed ratio (GF), dry matter digestibility, metabolizable energy (ME), nitrogen-corrected ME and excreta moisture did not differ between birds fed a commercial 22% crude protein duck starter diet and those fed the same diet incorporating...