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...

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...

Survey of nutrient concentrations in the diet, serum, and urine of giraffe maintained in North American zoos

In order to elucidate the causes of urolithiasis in giraffe, a comprehensive survey was initiated in September 2004 of giraffe within North American zoological institutions. Giraffe feeding practices and medical histories were examined, and holding institutions were recruited to submit samples of feeds, water, serum, urine and feces, and asked to participate in a feeding trial.

Medical considerations when exhibiting multiple taxa in large aquarium systems

Large multi-taxa aquatic systems are often challenging for both husbandry and veterinary personnel. A wide variety of diseases can afflict entire systems with potential medical considerations for all exposed taxa. Largely for logistic reasons, the most common method of disease treatment is the addition of chemotherapeutics directly to the aquatic environment. However, the potential for species-specific toxicoses associated with some...

Polar bears: aspects of handrearing

Zoos faced with the issue of handrearing polar bear cubs have found success with various formulas. Despite many common ingredients in zoos’ polar bear milk replacers, adjustments were made to accommodate specific medical or nutritional needs of the cub(s), and consequently there were differences in solids/energy offered and weaning age. Cubs from three institutions (San Francisco, Brookfield, and San Diego...

Nutritional and bacteriologic evaluation as part of a raw meat quality control program

Six lots of raw horsemeat diet (Zoo Carnivore Diet, Dallas Crown, Inc., Kaufman, TX 75142 USA) were analyzed in triplicate for selected nutritional and bacteriologic components. Aliquots of frozen meat were submitted to a commercial laboratory (Dairy One, Inc., Ithaca, NY 14850 USA) to determine proximate composition, mineral levels, and gross energy. Additional aliquots were thawed at 10°C for 44...

Cholesterol concentrations in free-ranging gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) and (Gorilla beringei) and Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus)

Cholesterol concentrations in captive gorillas and orangutans vary widely within species and average approximately 244 mg/dl for gorillas and 169 mg/dl for orangutans as previously published. The International Species Inventory System reports higher concentrations of 275 and 199 mg/dl for gorillas and orangutans, respectively. It is unknown if these values were typical and/or were influenced by captive management. To answer...

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...

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...

Epidemiology of selected infectious diseases in zoo ungulates: single species versus mixed species exhibits

The study analyses the epidemiology of selected infectious diseases of 65 different species within the four families of bovids, cervids, camelids and equids in one Czech and nine German zoos. It is based on a survey of all epidemiologic data since 1998. Furthermore 900 blood samples taken between 1998 and 2005 are screened for the presence of antibodies against selected...

A preliminary evaluation of a hand-rearing formula for southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum) calves

Exotic neonates may be hand-raised in captivity for various reasons. Records and evaluations of these hand-rearing efforts, the protocols used to achieve typical species growth and behavior, and data on the composition of mother’s milk, are needed to increase the success of hand-rearing a number of exotic species, including the southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum). Disney’s Animal Kingdom (DAK)...

Colitis in captive tamarins displayed on semi-natural mixed species exhibits in a North American zoo

Callitrichids have long been kept in zoological exhibits and in laboratory colonies. They are considered to be difficult to maintain and breed in captivity. Most of the species are considered to be endangered, threatened or vulnerable. Some causes of morbidity and mortality include inappropriate housing and diet, disease and trauma related to social stress, wasting marmoset syndrome, infectious diseases and...

Kori bustard nutrition and dietary husbandry

Kori bustards (Ardeotis kori) are reported to be omnivorous, consuming mostly insect and plant material in their grassland habitat. A complete nutrient analysis of these food items and their contribution to the overall diet has not been determined. The gastrointestinal tract of the kori is typical of an insectivorous bird, but to date they have been fed in captivity as...

Complications associated with diet manipulation in callimico (Callimico goeldii)

The diet traditionally fed to Callimico goeldii in North American institutions has included a canned, nutritionally complete food combined with fruits, vegetables and insects. There has been a long-standing question as to whether the diet could be contributing to health issues in this species, particularly renal disease. Although, no direct correlation between the diet and renal disease has been documented,...

An update on giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) response to dietary fiber form and carbohydrate profile: implications for animal health

An experimental coarse browser supplement (EF) and a mixture of 75% Mazuri Browser Breeder and 25% Omelene 200 (GF) were used to evaluate the effects of dietary physical form and carbohydrate profile on six non-lactating adult female giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) in a modified reversal study using seven 21 day periods. Individually housed giraffe were fed ad libitum alfalfa hay,...

Evaluation of zoological hoofstock supplements

Traditionally, U.S. zoos have fed two types of forage to exotic hoofstock species, primarily a legume (usually alfalfa, Medicago sativa) or grass hay(s). In addition to the forage, a grain supplement is added primarily as a carrier for vitamins and minerals, but also for supplemental energy. This has been the diet of choice for most ruminant and non-ruminant species with...

Exhibiting animals in large naturalistic exhibit: without prey or predator

Modern zoos are increasingly inclined to exhibit animals in more naturalistic surroundings, often in large mixed species exhibits, and the Biodôme de Montréal is no exception. The Biodôme is subdivided into four sections representing specific ecosystems. The First ecosystem, the tropical rainforest, represents Amazonia and all species of trees and animals are from South America. The Laurentian forest, the St....

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...

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,...

Bamboo as a year-round forage source

Bamboo is a rapidly renewable, nutritionally stable, and in most cases, evergreen forage. Although only rivercane (Arundinaria gigantica) is native to North America, bamboo enthusiasts have imported hundreds of varieties adapted to a wide range of climates and growing zones. We have conducted macronutrient analysis on eleven temperate species collected across all seasons and have analyzed for dry matter, ash,...

Modifying avian feeding strategies to provide foraging opportunity, allow for contrafreeloading and improve the health of collection birds

The Philadelphia Zoological Gardens opened its gates to the public in 1874. At that time, zoo animals rarely survived more than several years in their captive environments. Little was known about the natural diet and behaviors of these wild animals, and keepers typically provided their charges with a variety of inappropriate food items. Nutrition programs for zoo animals simply did...

Dietary husbandry of captive white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in the Northern USA and Canada must consider effects of daylength, age, and gender on tissue energy reserves

The effects of age, season, and gender on live body weights, lipogenesis and lipolysis in subcutaneous and perirenal adipose tissues, and weight and fat (ether extract) concentrations of skeletal muscles and viscera were studied in 48 captive white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) fed a complete diet ad libitum. Food intake, rates of lipogenesis, and accumulation of fat in skeletal muscle and...

Nutritional physiology of duikers: a synthesis

Duikers (Cephalophus and Sylvicapra spp) form a guild of small antelope inhabiting the forests of sub-Saharan Africa. Local duiker communities are diverse, with 17 species ranging 10-fold in body mass (3 – 80 kg). Duikers can be adversely affected by forest management and hunting, thus 15 species are listed in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature red list...

The effect of adding browse to the diet of moose (Alces alces) at the Toronto Zoo on their daily behaviour patterns

The Toronto Zoo has had moose in its collection since opening in 1974, and has since struggled with the issues of chronic diarrhea and Wasting Syndrome Complex that have been readily reported at other institutions. After numerous dietary alterations it was found that only by feeding limited amounts of an aspen–based concentrate, and no other food item, could these problems...

Preliminary report on the quantification of ultraviolet-B radiation from artificial light sources over time

The term “metabolic bone disease” encompasses a variety of bone-related diseases, including rickets, osteomalacia, osteopenia, and osteoporosis, all of which are associated with a weakening of bone structure. Metabolic bone disease is considered a serious health problem among certain species of captive reptiles. The occurrence of metabolic bone disease is believed to be due to insufficient concentrations of circulating vitamin...

Nutrient and fermentation characteristics of Carolina willow (Salix caroliniana) silage

The objective of this study was to evaluate the nutrient and fermentation characteristics of Carolina willow (Salix caroliniana) silage. Twelve laboratory scale silos (10.2 cm diameter x 45.7 cm long) were packed by hand with chopped willow (1.41 kg as-is, range 1.28 – 1.65 ± 0.18 SD) and opened on 0, 21, 42, and 84-d post-ensiling (three replicates per period)....

Evaluating gut-loading diets and dusting to improve the calcium concentration of pin-head and adult crickets (Acheta domesticus)

Four experiments were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of dusting crickets with calcium carbonate versus feeding a custom or commercial high-calcium diet on the calcium and phosphorus concentration of pin-head (13.7 mg) and juvenile (320.9 mg) crickets. Crickets were housed in 37.9 L aquariums, provided with water and egg crates for hiding, maintained on a 12 h light: 12 h...

Nutritional ecology of North American bears

North American brown (Ursus arctos) and black bears (U. americanus) are well known for undergoing major seasonal physiological and nutritional cycles. These cycles can include switching from herbivory to carnivory, from ingesting diets with minimal protein (e.g., fruit) to diets that are primarily protein (e.g., meat), from fasting during the 5 or 6 months of hibernation to daily food intakes...

Safety of feeding anadromous fish to polar bears

Fish are a standard part of polar bear diets in zoos and aquaria. Though most fish are frozen and thawed for feeding, some institutions have access to fresh fish such as salmon and trout. Recently, animal managers have encouraged the feeding of live fish for enrichment purposes. In 1982 two polar bears living in a Pacific Northwest zoo were thought...