Results of a Preliminary Survey into Wasting Marmoset Syndrome in Callitrichid Collections

A preliminary survey of Wasting Marmoset Syndrome was conducted in order to ascertain the significance of this disease constellation in callitrichid collections during the period from 1989 through 1993. Questionnaires prepared by the Philadelphia Zoo Animal and Animal Health Departments and approved by the AZA New World Primate Taxon Advisory Group were mailed to 275 animal managers and veterinarians at...

Vitamin D and Primates: Recurring Problems on a Familiar Theme

Captive primates housed indoors with little access to ultraviolet light have historically been susceptible to metabolic bone disease. The trend in zoological parks toward building large, indoor exhibits has potentially exacerbated this problem. Most skylight materials are not transparent to the wavelengths of ultraviolet light (UV-B) necessary for endogenous production of vitamin D. It is possible that most primates, like...

Total Fecal Collection and Acid-Insoluble Ash as Measures of Dry Matter Digestibility by Kowari (Dasyuriodes brynei)

Comparisons were made between the total fecal collection and acid-insoluble ash (AIA) natural marker methods for determining dry matter digestibility (DMD) coefficients of rations for Kowari (Dasyuriodes brynei) at the Metro Toronto Zoo (MTZ). Two rations were evaluated separately in trials of 5 to 7 days duration; a ground mice diet (2 trials) and a plain carnivore mix diet (4...

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...

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...

Skepticism and Science: Responsibilities of the Comparative Nutritionist

Comparative nutritionists are asked to formulate diets for over 3,000 species of animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates. Little research has been conducted to provide an information base for this task, and both popular and scientific publications contain factual errors and irrational concepts that confuse the user. When data are suspect and theories don’t make sense, they...

Serum Magnesium and Zinc Status of Wild Ungulates in the Swaziland Lowveld

Serum magnesium (Mg) and zinc (Zn) were measured in 179 impala (Aepyceros melampus), 13 warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus), 6 kudu (Tragelaphu strepsiceros), 4 grey duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia) and 3 blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) from the Mlawula-Mbuluzi-Simunye Nature Reserve and Protected Area complex in the northeastern Swaziland lowveld from October 1985 to September 1986. Serum Mg was higher in the small concentrate...

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)...

Effects of Diet on Nutritional Content of Prey Species fed to Captive Raptors

We measured proximate composition (moisture, lipid, protein, ash), vitamin A and vitamin E content, and six minerals (Cu, Fe, Zn, Mg, Mn, Ca) in quail, rats, mice and guinea pigs raised on at least two different diets per species. The objectives of this work were 1) to assess the variability of nutrient composition in some commonly used, commercially available diets,...

A Preliminary Study to Measure Protein, Fat and Moisture in Whole Mice and Rats by Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy

Whole mice and rats were analyzed using near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIR) to measure percent protein (Pr), percent fat (FAT) and percent moisture (MST). The NIR calibrations for Pr, FAT and MST were developed using 34 samples including mice and rats of different ages. The accuracy of the calibrations was assessed by calculating the residual standard deviation (RSD) and the...

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...

Nutrition of the Tamandua: I. Nutrient Composition of Termites (Nasutitermes spp.) and Stomach Contents from Wild Tamanduas (Tamandua tetradactyla)

Arboreal termites (Nasutitermes spp.) and stomach contents from tamanduas (Tamandua tetradactyla) were collected in central Venezuela during the mid part of the dry-season (March) of 1993 and 1994. Nutritional analyses were performed on each caste (workers, soldiers, alates), on mixed caste samples, and on stomach contents from live and road-kill tamanduas. The chemical analyses, expressed on a dry matter (DM)...

Do maintenance energy requirements of felids reflect their feeding strategies?

Maintenance energy (ME)requirements have been determined for the domestic cat, Felis silvestris catus, but not for larger felids. To determine if the domestic cat represents an appropriate model for studies with larger species, we measured digestive efficiency and digestible energy intakes in cats of different body sizes (body mass range: 15-195 kg)which included clouded leopard, Neofelis nebulosa (n = 9),...

Intake and digestion in a single Aye-Aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) in Captivity

Three 5-day feeding trials were conducted with a single adult male aye- aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) on an exhibit loan to the Wildlife Conservation Park, Bronx, NY, from the Duke University Primate Center, Durham, NC. The animal was a very selective feeder, and ate less than half of foods presented daily. Diets offered had higher crude fat (44.1 % vs. 30.0%)...

Possible Dietary Influence on Hepatobiliary Cancer in Sloth Bears (Melursus ursinus)

Compared with other bear species, sloth bears have an unusually high incidence of hepatobiliary neoplasms in captivity. Due to their highly specialized diet in the wild, there is a possibility that in captivity their diet may cause or promote hepatobiliary carcinogenesis and/or may lack certain food components which may inhibit carcinogenesis. A survey among zoos keeping sloth bears shows that...

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...

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....

Formulating Diets for Tamandua (T. tetradactyla) in Brazilian Zoos

Diet has long been suspected to be the primary cause of Tamanduas inability to thrive in some Brazilian zoos. It is known that free ranging animals consume diets consisting of termites and ants. Unfortunately, little is known about the nutrient requirements of insectivorous species. In addition, incomplete data exist on the nutrient content of many prey species. An assessment of...

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...

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.

Evaluation of 3 Milk Replacers for Hand-Rearing Indian Nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus)

Hoofstock neonates are often hand-raised for multiple reasons. Feeding maternal milk is optimal, but is rarely available for hand-rearing. Therefore, suitable substitutes must be identified. Published nutrient composition of maternal milk is frequently used as a guide. In many instances, however, no information is available regarding the milk composition of a particular species. Nilgai have been successfully raised at the...

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...

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...

Effect of Level of Intake on Digestion, Rate of Passage and Chewing Dynamics in Hay-Fed Bactrian Camels (Camelus bactrianus)

Four female Bactrian camels (Camelus bactrianus) were offered a diet of chopped mixed hay, composed predominantly of timothy, at three levels of intake. Digestibility of the hay was measured by total collection and rates of passage using cobalt (III) ethylene diamine tetra acetate and Chromium-mordanted hay. The time spent eating and ruminating per day was ascertained by continuous observation for...

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...

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...

Determination of Vitamin E status and supplementation for the Nyala (Tragelaphus angasi)

High incidence of white muscle disease in captive nyala has lead to speculation that they have high vitamin E requirements. Maintenance of nyala is often achieved through high vitamin E supplementation. Injectable vitamin E has been administered monthly (750 IU/injection) at Denver Zoological Gardens for years as an effective method of preventing vitamin E deficiency related deaths, yet, was evaluated...

Comparison of diets fed to South-East Asian Colobines in North American and European Zoos Versus Natural Diets

Comparison of diets fed to South-East Asian Colobines in North American and European Zoos Versus Natural Diets Joeke Nijboer1 and Ellen S. Dierenfeld2 1 Rotterdam Zoo, Rotterdam, Netherlands 2 Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, New York In May and June 1994 a survey of diets fed to south-east Asian colobines in captivity in European (n = 12) and North American (n...

An Evaluation of the Nutritional Adequacy of the Feeding Program of the Black-Footed Ferret (Mustela nigripis) at the Metropolitan Toronto Zoo

Experimental data or performance record of black-footed ferret (BFF) in captivity is needed to evaluate nutrient levels or adequacy of feeding programs carried out with this endangered species. Diets fed to BFF in three places were compared: Metropolitan Toronto Zoo (MTZ), Sybille Wildlife Research Center (SWRC) and at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo (OHDZ). Some reference will be made to prairie...

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...