Nutrient composition of the milk of the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla)

Little information exists about milk composition in obligate insectivores or in members of the mammalian superorder Xenarthra. A total of 37 milk samples collected from 3 lactating giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) were assayed for proximate nutrient content at the Nutrition Laboratory of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute using standard methods developed at the Nutrition Laboratory. Water comprised 88.7 ± 2.1%...

Evaluation of hand-rearing formula for greater Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis)

Since opening in May 1972, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (historically known as the San Diego Wild Animal Park) has hand-raised a number of rhinoceros calves, including southern white (Ceratotherium simum simum), black (Diceros bicornis michaeli) and greater Indian (Rhinoceros unicornis). In order to improve success rates and generate appropriate protocols with any handreared neonate species, it is important...

Milk composition of the white rhinoceros (Cerathotherium simum) through the first year of lactation

Lactation is a fundamental adaptation of mammals with milk being the first food for all mammals and the diversity of mammals is reflected in the diversity of lactation strategies and in the composition of milks from different species (Hayssen 1992). Although all milks have the same basic nutrients in common, the proportion of fat, sugar, protein and minerals varies widely...

Hand raising manatee (Trichechus manatus)

Manatee (Trichechus manatus) calves are abandoned each year in the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico around Florida and some of those animals are brought to SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment in Orlando (SWF) for rehabilitation and future release back into the wild. While in most cases we are unsure why the calf was separated from the mom, it is likely...

The milk repository at Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park

Lactation, the exocrine secretion of milk from mammary glands for the nourishment of young, is a defining characteristic of mammals. All female mammals produce milk, and milk is the first food of all neonatal mammals. The diversity of the mammalian radiation is reflected in the diversity of lactation strategies that have evolved. This in turn is reflected in differences in...

BIOACTIVE FACTORS IN MILK: COMPARISONS ACROSS NONHUMAN PRIMATES AND HUMANS

Milk is not just a food, but also a means by which mammalian mothers signal biochemically to their offspring. Milk contains a host of signaling molecules that influence growth and development of offspring. Some of these signaling molecules have been implicated as risk factors or as being protective against the early development of metabolic diseases in humans, such as obesity...

Comparison of proximate composition of domestic cat (Felis catus), clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), snow leopard (Uncia uncia), African lion (Panthera leo), and Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) maternal milk with exotic cat hand-rearing formulae

The aims of this study are (1) to compare proximate composition of milks of five felids, the domestic cat (Felis catus), clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), snow leopard (Uncia uncia), African lion (Panthera leo), and Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) to establish if there exist species-specific differences in felid maternal milk composition, (2) to conduct proximate analyses on commercial hand-rearing formulae...

Milk composition and lactation strategies across mammalian taxa: implications for hand-rearing neonates

The two major features of mammalian reproduction are viviparity and lactation (milk production); of these, only lactation is both unique to mammals and occurs in all living species of mammals. Milk is the complex lacteal secretion of the mammary gland responsible for the provision of nutrients and energy to the growing neonate. Once adopted during the course of mammalian evolution,...

Milk composition of the bongo antelope (Tragelaphus eurycerus) through lactation

Bongo antelopes (Tragelaphus eurycerus) are a species of antelope that originate from Africa. The gestation length is about 285 days. Bongo antelope calves weigh about 20 kg when born. Adult females weigh between 210-230 kg, while adult males weigh 240-270 kg. Young reach sexual maturity when approximately two years old. The milk samples used in this study were part of...

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...

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...

Evaluation of 3 Milk Replacers for Hand-Rearing Indian Nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus)

Hoofstock neonates are often hand-raised for multiple reasons. Feeding maternal milk is optimal, but is rarely available for hand-rearing. Therefore, suitable substitutes must be identified. Published nutrient composition of maternal milk is frequently used as a guide. In many instances, however, no information is available regarding the milk composition of a particular species. Nilgai have been successfully raised at the...