Body condition scoring in cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) advancements in methodology and visual tools for assessment

Body condition scoring (BCS) is the use of a standardized, non-invasive, cost-free tool for evaluating the degree of external adiposity of an individual (Bray, 2001). With proper validation, BCS can be applied to any species and utilizes a scale or spectrum of 1 to 5 or 1 to 9 to describe degree of fatness. BCS allows for identification of under-...

Application of body condition indices for leopard tortoises (Geochelone pardalis)

Indirect methods of assessing chelonian body condition using combinations of body mass and shell measurements have been explored: however, there is little published data on tracking captive chelonian health and growth using a body condition index (BCI). Two published BCI formulas were compared for application with a captive colony of leopard tortoises (Geochelone pardalis).

Comparing body condition estimates of zoo Brother’s Island Tuatara (Sphenodon guntheri) to that of the wild, a clinical case

Brother’s Island tuataras (Sphenodon guntheri) housed at the San Diego Zoo were measured and weighed routinely as part of the preventative medicine procedure. From June 2000 through April 2009, snout-vent length and mass were used from that data and compared to Brother’s Island tuataras that were sampled by Hoare et al., in the wild from 1957 to 2001. Along with...

BODY CONDITION SCORING INDEX FOR FEMALE AFRICAN ELEPHANTS (LOXODONTA AFRICANA) VALIDATED WITH ULTRASOUND MEASUREMENTS OF SUBCUTANEOUS FAT

A major problem of zoo African elephants is ovarian acyclicity, which preliminary studies suggest may be related to obesity. To test this relationship, methods to accurately quantify body condition and obesity in elephants are warranted. Body condition scoring (BCS), an indirect means of measuring body condition based on visual evaluation of subcutaneous fat and key skeletal elements, has become an...

Development of a standardized body condition score for cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)

Standardized body condition indices (BCI) or scores (BCS) provide practical management tools for assessment of diet utilization and general quantification of fat stores that an animal carries. They have been widely developed and applied with livestock, domestic cats and dogs, and more recently, to various wildlife species, primarily hoofstock. Comparisons between BCS developed for free-ranging versus captive wildlife species have...

Application of existing domestic animal condition scoring systems for captive (zoo) animals

Quantifying body weight of captive wild animals has become one common assessment tool for evaluating general health. Although body weight is a very useful measurement, for most zoo animals the average body weight for stages of growth, pregnancy, or maintenance have yet to be defined. Another concern is that using weight alone, as a means of determining proper conditioning, is...

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...