Case Study: Elimination diet for a female orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus abelii) with digestive problems at the Toronto Zoo

Ramai (ISIS #20164) is a female Sumatran orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus abeiii) who was born at the Toronto Zoo on 4 October 1985. She was parent-reared, and currently weighs approximately 62 kg. Ramai has had a history of loose stool and skin problems. A fecal scoring chart was developed to illustrate the range of fecal consistency observed in orangutans at the...

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...

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...

The effects of fiber type and fiber levels on digestibility and volatile fatty acid formation in the Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus)

The diets of free-ranging orangutans are high in structural cell wall material, which comprises the fiber fraction in plants [Hamilton and Galdikas, 1994]. Microbial populations residing in the hindgut accomplish fiber digestion via fermentation. Animals use volatile fatty acids, end products of fiber fermentation, as a source of energy. Readily available produce items contain small amounts of fermentable fiber [Schmidt...

Removing milk from captive gorilla diets: the impact on regurgitation and reingestion (R/R) and other behaviors

To test whether milk consumption facilitates performance of regurgitation and reingestion (R/R) in captive gorillas, an experiment was conducted in which milk was removed from the gorilla diet at Zoo Atlanta. The study was conducted using a withdrawal design (BTB), in which a baseline period (B) of 10 days was followed by a treatment period (T) of 10 days, followed...

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...