Feeding strategies in wild carnivores: progress report of a model approach

Feeding strategies among wild carnivores are still partly unexplained. Carnivore mass is a determining factor in the choice for a specific range in prey size (Carbone et al., 1999). According to Carbone et al. (2007), two dietary groups can be distinguished: small carnivores hunting on small prey (< 20 kg) and large carnivores hunting on large prey (> 20 kg)....

Evaluation of the nutritional status of rehabilitated green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) utilizing nutritional markers, stable isotopes, and metagenomics

Green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) are unique because hatchlings and pelagic juveniles are carnivorous, while later life history stages are primarily herbivorous. Dietary requirements at each life stage are poorly understood, making diet selection during rehabilitation of injured and sick animals challenging. Although turtles are typically transitioned to an herbivorous diet before release, food items high in animal protein (e.g.,...

Nutrient Composition of Whole Vertebrate Prey (Excluding Fish) Fed in Zoos

Although nutritionally balanced formulations, largely based upon nutrient requirements of domestic cats, are commercially available for many zoo carnivores, some choose to use whole prey as a part or all of certain captive feeding programs. Whole prey are similar in physical form to the natural diet of some carnivores, and are commonly presumed to meet nutrient requirements as long as...

Potential of alternative protein sources for exotic carnivores: observations and discussion

Historically, the zoological community has depended on horsemeat and beef as the two options for feeding exotic carnivores. Horsemeat was generally preferred by veterinarians and nutritionists as a leaner, more wildgame-like product. Unfortunately, within the last 10 years all horsemeat packing plants in the US have closed due to public pressure opinion that horses are more pets than livestock and...

Advances in feline nutrition 2: evaluations of protein and fiber sources for raw meat based diets in captive exotic felids

Little nutritional or metabolic information has been collected from captive exotic felids fed raw diets. In depth data on nutrient composition (e.g., fatty acid and amino acid composition) are sparse, and may impact diet formulation. Additionally, although several studies have examined total tract nutrient digestibility in captive exotic felid, (Clauss, et al., 2010; Vester, et al., 2010a) most have focused on horsemeat and beef-based...

Selection of proper feeds to assist in the dental management of carnivores

Proper dental care of carnivores in a zoological setting is of utmost concern among zoo professionals. Dental health is based on nutrition, environment, and overall animal health. This paper deals with the nutritional aspect of carnivore health. Zoo carnivores are able to survive on a variety of diets in captivity, but in order to assure proper dental health, feeds which...

Observations of growth of South African cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus jubatus) fed different carnivore diets

Significant changes have occurred in the availability of raw ingredients used in fresh meat-based carnivore diets, and as a result, the finished diets. Two litters (n = 9) of maternally reared South African cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus jubatus) included in this retrospective study of cub growth were offered comparable carnivore diets that differed primarily in the species (horse [Diet A, Litter...

Total Fecal Collection and Acid-Insoluble Ash as Measures of Dry Matter Digestibility by Kowari (Dasyuriodes brynei)

Comparisons were made between the total fecal collection and acid-insoluble ash (AIA) natural marker methods for determining dry matter digestibility (DMD) coefficients of rations for Kowari (Dasyuriodes brynei) at the Metro Toronto Zoo (MTZ). Two rations were evaluated separately in trials of 5 to 7 days duration; a ground mice diet (2 trials) and a plain carnivore mix diet (4...