Nutrient Composition of Locally Obtained Native Fishes (St. Catherines Island, GA, USA) Compared with Fish Commonly Purchased for North American Zoo Feeding Programs

Nine species of local fishes, obtained as part of a larger population study, were chemically analyzed to determine nutrient composition prior to use in feeding programs at the Wildlife Survival Center, St. Catherines Island, Georgia, USA. The nutrient composition of locally obtainable fishes was compared to that of fishes commonly used in North American zoo feeding programs. The 9 local...

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...

TSE’S – U.S. enforcement strategies and what they mean to you

In response to concerns by the World Health Organization, and various other authorities around the globe, over the threat of additional transmissible spongiform encephalopathy epidemics, Federal regulation now prohibits the use of proteins derived from mammalian tissue in feed for ruminant animals. This regulation removes those animal proteins from Generally Recognized As Safe status and relocates them as food additives...

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...

Nutritional evaluation of a hand-rearing protocol for the San Clemente Island Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus mearnsi)

The San Clemente Island (SCI) Loggerhead Shrike, a subspecies found only on SCI, 80 km off the coast of San Diego, was federally listed as endangered in 1977. The wild population has numbered 12-18 birds for the last 10 years making this one of the most endangered birds in North America. As part of an ongoing, federally funded captive recovery...

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...

The effect of diet on growth and development of Puerto Rican Crested Toad (Peltophryne lemur) tadpoles

The Puerto Rican Crested Toad (Peltophryne lemur), an endemic toad of Puerto Rico, was the first amphibian to be considered suitable for the Species Survival Plan (SSP). Captive propagation for release of this species began in 1983, and the Toronto Zoo has reintroduced over 15,000 animals to their native habitat since 1985. Although these animals have been successfully reared in...

Leadbeater’s possum: Nutritional and environmental challenges of captive possums in eight zoos

Eight zoos participated in a retrospective study by providing diets, post mortems (n = 75) and management practices for captive Leadbeater’s possums (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri). Data was analyzed for correlation of common factors in the morbidity and mortality of captive possums. The results suggest nutritional factors common to most zoos which may play a role in the morbidity and mortality of...

Lisbon Zoo – The development of an animal nutrition department

The need to fight against structural and financial difficulties characteristic of a Zoo with 100 years and located in the middle of Lisbon, had limited its proper evolution. Only in 1995 occured a profound restructuring at the Lisbon Zoo, in the midst of which arose the Animal Nutrition Department. Up to that time, the different keepers, in inadequate conditions for...

The potential to increase neutral detergent fiber levels in ape diets using readily available produce

Many studies report what wild orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) select for food. Hamilton and Galdikas (1994) determined wild diets contained dietary neutral detergent fiber (NDF) levels of 75%. NDF represents structural polysaccharides (cellulose and hemicellulose (HMC)) potentially digested by microbial fermentation in the lower gut. Fiber presence in the gut and fermentation end-product production have been shown to prevent obesity and...

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).

Conversion of six domestic ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) from commercial cat foods to a commercial domestic ferret food: a food acceptance trial

For years the Philadelphia Zoo struggled to find a simple, palatable diet for the domestic ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) in the Philadelphia Zoo collection. The ferrets are used in the zoos education program and housed at the Children’s Zoo. Many of the animal caretakers at the Children’s Zoo are volunteers; thus, the animals are cared for by a number of...

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...

Body condition scoring of captive (zoo) equids

Obesity in captive wild equids may result from forage diets that are higher in energy, over-fed and not fed according to BW. In addition, processed forages are supplemented or substituted for long-stem forage diets and differences in feeding management are not considered. The scoring system used for domestic horses has been used and modified for captive (zoo) equids. The nine-point...

Variation in serum ferritin, serum iron, total iron binding capacity (TIBC) and percent transferrin saturation in Northern Fur Seals: a retrospective study

Hemochromatosis is an excessive accumulation of iron in tissues, particularly liver, and is associated with the development of hepatic lesions. The term hemosiderosis is used when there are no toxic effects of the iron accumulation. Both conditions have been observed in free-ranging and captive specimens of many species (Lowensteine and Munson 1999). Histopathologic analysis of tissues obtained from two aged...

Association of enterolith formation relative to water source pH consumed by wild equids under captive conditions

Intestinal disorders associated with enteroliths in domestic and wild equids have perpetuated folklore feeding practices in the western U.S. Enteroliths are stones formed in the large intestine, consisting primarily of magnesium ammonium phosphate [Mg(NH4)(PO4) – 6H20]. The frequency of enteroliths reported in clinical cases and necropsy reports among captive equids at the Zoological Society of San Diego appears to be...

The effect of bamboo intake on fecal consistency in Giant Pandas (Ailuropoda Melanoleuca)

Although taxonomically classified as a carnivore, the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) has evolved to consume a herbivorous diet consisting primarily of bamboo. Traditional captive feeding strategies have not reflected the natural diet and instead combined readily digested animal products and high-starch grain mixtures fed with variable amounts of bamboo. Improper nutritional management may lead to gastrointestinal disorders, often manifested as...

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...

Feed intake, diet utilization, and composition of browses consumed by the Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) in a North American zoo

Similar to other browsing rhinos in North American facilities, health of the Sumatran or “hairy” rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) in captivity appears strongly linked to dietary husbandry.1 Stool consistency problems, gastric torsion, and metabolic imbalances have been reported (M. Campbell, Sumatran Rhino Veterinary Advisor, personal communication), possibly due to inappropriate captive diets. After prolonged diet refinement to improve stool consistency, recommended...

Chronicle of zoological classification of mammals

The interest of humans in grouping animals has been an issue since before Christian times. Grouping animals based on their relationship to humans is probably the most primitive sign of classification (e.g., edible or inedible, dangerous or docile, wild or domestic, and so on). Officially, the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, Article 3, establishes the beginning of zoological nomenclature to...

Which way forward for European zoo nutrition?

There are approximately 1000 zoos in Europe ranging from large, extensive zoos to smaller private collections. Of these, 256 are members of the European Association of Zoos and Aquarium (EAZA). EAZA is involved in all aspects of maintaining animals in captivity in zoos and aquarium, including the conservation of threatened species. Just as AZA has established Species Survival Plan (SSP)...