Commissary renovation and centralization at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park

Renovation of Smithsonian National Zoological Park (NZP) commissary facilities, evaluation and revision of procedures, and the addition of staff and volunteers were implemented as part of a programmatic shift from decentralized to centralized commissary operation and an overall renewal of the clinical nutrition program. Existing facilities were renovated and new equipment was obtained using hazard analysis and critical control point...

Feed regulations and quality control in the feed industry

The impact of state and federal regulations and internal quality control in the manufacture of quality animal feed is substantial. First, federal and state governments are responsible for administration of feed laws, in order to protect the consumer and the manufacturer. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates animal feed under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. State Departments of...

Energy and protein supplies to captive orangutans

The diet of Sumatran orangutans at Perth Zoo was reviewed and altered to simulate more closely foods available in the wild. Diversity of offered plants was increased to over eighty species. Cereal based concentrates were replaced by foods of animal origin, including fish and cheese. Dietary supplements were eliminated. The proportion of different foods was adjusted to meet Dietary Reference...

The effect of fish analog diet on beluga whale (Delpinapterus leucas) health and body condition

In zoos and aquariums the staple diet for marine mammals is freshly thawed, previously frozen fish and squid. Feeding a variety of fish to captive piscivores can be a major challenge to institutions, due to cost and availability thereby making a readily available prepared fish analogbased diet very appealing. Past studies feeding the Mazuri® fish analog product (PMI IntI, St....

Influence of diet transition on serum calcium and phosphorus in captive giraffe

Pathology in captive giraffe is relatively common and has often been attributed to nutritional causes. It was hypothesized that reducing dietary starch and phosphorus (P) would change serum mineral concentrations to be more in line with typical mammalian values. Captive giraffe (n=6, Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha NE), previously fed a commercially available diet, were transitioned to a reduced starch diet...

Biochemical and physiological observations in meerkats (Suricata suricatta) at two zoos during dietary transition to a diet designed for insectivores

These studies assess the short-term and long-term effects of a commercially available manufactured diet (Mazuri® Insectivore, PMI Nutrition International, P.O. Box 66812, St. Louis, MO 63166-6812) intended for the feeding of insectivorous animals. The initial study evaluated palatability of the diet and the maintenance of health in captive meerkats over a 6-week period.

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...

Diet-induced diabetes in captive plains viscachas (Lagostomus maximus)

Plains viscachas (Lagostomus maximus) are large, nocturnal rodents that inhabit the pampas of Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina. They are considered to feed on poor quality food in the wild: grass, forbs and bushes. Plains viscachas have been kept and bred at Zurich Zoo since 1964 and have shown the tendency to develop a type II diabetes mellitus, which was supposedly...

A comparative study of blood lipids, electrolytes, and stress levels between captive and semi-captive orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) under tropical conditions

Blood samples were collected from 27 orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) (14 captive and 13 semicaptive) and were analyzed for triglycerides, total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLC), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLC), sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, phosphate, glucose, Cortisol levels, total white blood cells (WBC) and WBC differential count. There were significant differences (P<0.05) in total cholesterol and HDLC level between...

Are super dose concentrations of vitamin E really necessary for reproduction in birds?

Vitamin E requirements for exotic avian species remain undetermined and await investigation. As a result, diets formulated for captive exotic birds rely on the development of target ranges and feeding guidelines in order to minimize the risk of developing deficiencies and/or toxicities. These target ranges are commonly based on the requirements of domestic poultry, with the addition of calculation factors...

Feeding the immune system: energy and protein needs for immunocompetence

The immune system utilizes a combination of constitutive and adaptive mechanisms that interact with one another to protect the host from microorganisms and infectious disease. Constitutive defenses of the innate immune system consist of effector cells, such as monocytes/macrophages and neutrophils, along with mucosal and epithelial barriers, secretions and plasma acute phase proteins. The innate immune system is capable of...

Columbiform crop milk and crop milk replacer

Altricial chicks undergo an intense period of growth in the first few weeks of life. These chicks’ huge needs for nutrients are usually met by their parents feeding them high protein food items such as insects, other invertebrates, or vertebrate prey. Columbiformes (doves and pigeons) have conquered this nutritional obstacle a different way, by manufacturing the perfect food for their...

Milk composition and lactation strategies across mammalian taxa: implications for hand-rearing neonates

The two major features of mammalian reproduction are viviparity and lactation (milk production); of these, only lactation is both unique to mammals and occurs in all living species of mammals. Milk is the complex lacteal secretion of the mammary gland responsible for the provision of nutrients and energy to the growing neonate. Once adopted during the course of mammalian evolution,...