Case study: Seasonal diets for brown bears (Ursus arctos) at Brookfield Zoo: successful implementation led to reduced weight and improved behavior

From 1995 – 2008 the brown bears (Ursus arctos) at Brookfield Zoo were fed a standard diet consisting of carnivore meat products, fish (seasonally), dog food, apples, carrots, lettuce, bread, and a small assortment of fruit as treats. The diet increased or decreased in amount based on the bears’ motivation for food (i.e., by season), but the diet composition was...

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...