Routine dietary husbandry influences sensory evaluation in leopard tortoises (Stigomochelys pardalis)

Controlled sensory evaluations objectively assess physical and/or chemical characteristics that may influence food preference. Such evaluations are valuable to determine food properties that may encourage, or discourage food intake. Multiple factors influence animal behavior and subsequent choice. These must be strictly controlled so specific treatments can be considered in relative isolation. Six, subadult female leopard tortoises (Stigmochelys pardalis) participated in...

Case report: enhancing the vitamin E status and coloration of a Southern lanner falcon (Falco biarmicus biarmicus)

The death of a Lanner falcon (Falco biarmicus biarmicus) in January 2010 with low liver vitamin E (0.90 mg/kg wet wt.) suggested that the bird was in poor health with a marginal diet. The liver vitamin E concentration of poultry receiving adequate dietary vitamin E is 15-40 ?g/g wet weight.8 Animal care staff wanted to ensure the diet of the...

Milk composition of the reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata)

Reticulated giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) are the most common subspecies of giraffe maintained in zoological institutions. The gestation length for a reticulated giraffe is about 455 days (15 months). Lactation in wild giraffes has been estimated to last 12-13 months. The milk samples used in this study were part of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park’s Milk Repository and had been...

Browse nutrient analyses at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: there’s something about browse.

Feeding exotic herbivores under human care can be fraught with challenges in terms of replicating natural nutrient offerings, or even understanding what a normal requirement would be to maximize health. While recommendations of feeding browse to species known to consume leaves and stems of plants in the wild seems fundamental, it is important to keep in mind how variable the...

Analysis of fish offered to bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus truncatus) over a 5 year period : fluctuations and lessons in quality control

Dolphins held under human care often pose a challenge in terms of weight and subsequent health maintenance. While a lack of exercise may contribute to this situation, proper body weight can be controlled by taking regular weights and monitoring both feed and associated caloric intake by weight. At The Seas at Epcot, the diet of the four male dolphins housed...

Does blood sample handling and processing affect levels of vitamin A, E, and D?

Proper handling of blood samples is critical for the most accurate results. Knowledge of which factors affect blood samples leads to a practical and efficient system of handling these samples. This study evaluated the effect of light, temperature, or type of blood collection tube on 25(OH) vitamin D, retinol, and alpha-tocopherol in lion blood samples. Blood samples were collected from...

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...

Ascorbic acid, vitamin E, vitamin A, and trace elements in serum of zoo crocodilians.

A potential clinical case of ulcerative gingivitis in a male gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) initiated an investigation to determine if there was adequate ascorbic acid in the diet of crocodilians at the San Diego Zoo (SDZ), and San Diego Zoo Safari Park (SP). Reptiles can synthesize ascorbic acid and classic deficiency is rarely seen. The objective of this summary was to...

Implementing “green business” practices at the Santa Barbara Zoo

The Santa Barbara Zoo has a long history of community involvement and paving the way for environmentally friendly practices in the Santa Barbara area. The Zoo initiated the first community recycling program more than 20 years ago. In 2007 The Zoo created an in house peer-committee “Sustainable Operations Committee (Green Team)” to review and establish responsible environmentally responsible practices. The...