Analysis of nutrients, moisture loss, and vitamin stability in primate browse harvested at the San Diego Zoo

The objective of this study was to obtain nutrient profiles along with insight on rates of moisture and vitamin loss in browse harvested at San Diego Zoo Global (SDZG). Ten species of browse commonly offered to colobines were manually separated into leaf and bark components for analysis at a commercial laboratory. Findings indicate that a variety of browse species and...

Nutritionally complete food-free diets for primates: potential benefits and concerns

Many zoos and institutions offer nutritionally complete foods (NCF) in the diets of captive primates (Oftedal and Allen, 1996). These foods, which often take the form of extruded biscuits, canned diets or gels, provide a source of important nutrients like protein, fat, fiber, vitamins and minerals, thereby helping to meet minimum estimated nutrient requirements (Oftedal and Allen, 1996; NRC, 2003)....

Associations between diet, gut microbial communities, and health in red-shanked doucs (Pygathrix nemaeus): a model for the subfamily colobinae

Red-shanked doucs (Pygathrix nemaeus) and other colobines possess specialized gastrointestinal systems similar to ruminants. They utilize both fore- and hindgut fermentation to meet their energetic demands. Maintenance of captive populations has been largely unsuccessful. Improving captive conditions is hindered by critical gaps in our understanding of their natural diet and enteric microbial adaptations that facilitate the digestive process. We used...

Nutrition therapy for human gastrointestinal disorders and application to captive non-human primates

Abnormal gastrointestinal function is considered to be a common problem among captive non-human primates. Certain nutrients and diet patterns are implicated in abnormal gastrointestinal function and disease. The human nutrition field uses medical nutrition therapies to prevent and/or manage a variety of gastrointestinal disorders. Some of these may be appropriate for application to non-human primates. Current evidence-based nutrition interventions for...

Stronger than yesterday: new nutrient recommendations for lorisine primates

Asia’s slow lorises (Nycticebus spp.) are heavily impacted by the illegal wildlife trade in Southeast Asia. Confiscated lorises by Customs officials find themselves in rescue centers with approximately 50% of them having had their lower teeth removed by the poachers and must remain in the rescue centre indefinitely, if they survive. Reintroductions do occur but success is very low. Despite...

Fruit-free diets for primates

Paignton Zoo has been working towards fruit-free diets for primates since about 2003, when severe dental health issues in our colobus monkeys (Colobus guereza) triggered us to investigate sugar levels in their diet. In common with most of our primates at the time their diet consisted of a commercial primate pellet and included a high proportion of fresh and dried...

Examination of palatability of extruded primate diet using three flavors

Commercial diets are often essential parts of captive primate nutrition. However, consumption of dry extruded products can be difficult to encourage. Food and flavor preferences have been observed in captive primates and may be affected by palatability. This study examines the palatability of a commercial extruded primate diet when compared to 3 diets containing new flavors. Mazuri® Primate Browse Biscuit...

Energy requirements of captive non-human primates

Energy is a fundamental need of all living things. In the wild, satisfying energy requirements may be the most important aspect of foraging ecology and feeding decisions. In captivity, satisfying an animal’s energy requirement is usually not difficult. The concern is more over balancing energy intake with that of other necessary nutrients. The energy density of manufactured foods is normally...

Cholesterol concentrations in free-ranging gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) and (Gorilla beringei) and Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus)

Cholesterol concentrations in captive gorillas and orangutans vary widely within species and average approximately 244 mg/dl for gorillas and 169 mg/dl for orangutans as previously published. The International Species Inventory System reports higher concentrations of 275 and 199 mg/dl for gorillas and orangutans, respectively. It is unknown if these values were typical and/or were influenced by captive management. To answer...

Colitis in captive tamarins displayed on semi-natural mixed species exhibits in a North American zoo

Callitrichids have long been kept in zoological exhibits and in laboratory colonies. They are considered to be difficult to maintain and breed in captivity. Most of the species are considered to be endangered, threatened or vulnerable. Some causes of morbidity and mortality include inappropriate housing and diet, disease and trauma related to social stress, wasting marmoset syndrome, infectious diseases and...

Complications associated with diet manipulation in callimico (Callimico goeldii)

The diet traditionally fed to Callimico goeldii in North American institutions has included a canned, nutritionally complete food combined with fruits, vegetables and insects. There has been a long-standing question as to whether the diet could be contributing to health issues in this species, particularly renal disease. Although, no direct correlation between the diet and renal disease has been documented,...

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...

Chemical composition of foods eaten by African colobines compared with Southeast Asian colobines

Nutritional analyses of foods eaten by wild colobine populations can be useful for understanding colobine nutritional needs, crucial for successful maintenance of captive populations. A previous report by Nijboer et al. summarized the mineral and proximate data for browse composition of three species of Southeast Asian colobines. The authors noted that the diets of these wild colobines contained substantially more...

Determination of tannin levels in various plants and their possible effect on iron chelation in lemurs

Lemurs are one of several species that can suffer from excess iron accumulation in tissues, termed hemosiderosis. The more severe form, hemochromatosis, develops when hemosiderosis is accompanied by functional or morphologic evidence of iron toxicity and may result in clinical disease and death. Organs most often affected include the liver, heart, spleen, and gastrointestinal tract. The pathology of this problem/disease...

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...

Fiber digestibility in black lemurs (Eulemur Macaco Macaco)

Black lemurs are classified as generalist feeders, existing on both fruits and leaves depending upon seasonal availability. In captivity they are typically fed a diet of commercially manufactured primate biscuits and readily available produce, both of which are limited in fermentable fiber. Digestibility trials were conducted on fourteen black lemurs, housed in 4 groups (4, 3, 3 & 2) and...

Macronutrient composition of plants consumed by wild black and white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegate) in Betampona Natural Reserve, Madagascar

Macronutrient composition was determined on a dry matter (DM) basis for plants (n=121) consumed by wild black and white ruffed lemurs. Samples were collected based on direct observation of foraging by the study group for a period of one year. Plant parts included fruits (n=80), young leaves (n=37), and flowers (n=4).

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...

The influence of plant chemistry on browse choice in Angolan Colobus Monkeys (Colobus angolensis palliates)

Browse is included in the diets of many primate species, especially those that consume large portions of leaf material under free-ranging conditions. The challenge of providing a reliable source of browse is complicated by the limited availability of plant species that are nutritionally adequate, palatable, and available in suitable quantities to meet the demands of the animal collection.

Ingestion of Viburnum x rhytidophylloides ‘Alleghany’ potentially lethal to White-Mantled Black Colobus (Colobus guereza)

In December of 2000, three white-mantled black colobus (Colobus guereza) housed at the Denver Zoological Gardens began showing indications of pain, and as a result, were removed from their facility and hospitalized. One animal died of gastric ulcers, however the others recovered with treatment. Light microscopic evaluation of gastric biopsies from one of the monkeys, showed inflammation of the mucosal...

Nutritional composition of the diet of Alouatta palliate Mexicana females in different reproductive states

Observational data on the feeding and behavior of a semi free-ranging troop of mantled howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata mexicana) were collected and analyzed to determine whether differences exist in the nutritional composition of the diet of females at different reproductive states. The reproductive states selected for study were non-gestation (control), gestation, and lactation. Mean ingestion was calculated in grams/day and...

Effect of dietary fiber concentration on apparent digestibility and digesta passage in non-human primates. II. Hindgut-and Foregut fermenting folivores.

Two test diets with different acid detergent fiber (ADF) concentrations (15% ADF, 30% ADF) were fed to seven adult hindgut- and seven adult foregut-fermenting primates. Apparent digestibilities (%) of dietary dry matter (DM), gross energy (GE), and fiber components (neutral detergent fiber [NDF], ADF, hemicellulose [HC], and cellulose [C]) were measured. Rates of digesta transit (TT1) and retention (RGIT) times...

Relationship between feeding time and food intake in hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas) and the value of feeding time as predictor of food intake.

The relationship among time spent feeding, number of feeding bouts, feeding bout length, and the amount of food ingested was determined in a study of 18 hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas) at the German Primate Center (DPZ). There was considerable within- and between-subject variation in all four variables. Feeding time and number of feeding bouts could explain only 30% and 40%,...

Nutrient composition of selected plant species consumed by semi free-ranging lion-tailed macaques (Macaca silenus) and ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) on St. Catherines Island, Georgia, U.S.A.

Feeding behavior in two groups of semi free-ranging primates, lion tailed macaques (LTM) (Macaca silenus, n = 9) and ring-tailed lemurs (RTL) (Lemur catta, n = 13), residing on St. Catherines Island, GA, was observed seasonally at quarterly intervals for 1 year. Each group had unlimited access to native flora and fauna in addition to a daily provisioned diet; LTM...

Serum concentrations of lipids, vitamins A and E, vitamin D metabolites, and carotenoids in nine primate species at four zoos

The purpose of this work was to measure important nutritional status parameters for captive primates, compare those with published data, and look for a link with diet. The nutritional status of nine captive primate species was examined using biochemical analysis. The species were spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi), colobus monkeys (Colobus guereza), sooty mangabeys (Cercocebus torquatus), Schmidt’s monkeys (Cercopithecus ascanius), mandrills...

When to feed on gums: temporal patterns of gummivory in wild tamarins, Saguinus mystax and Saguinus fuscicollis (Callitrichiae)

This study examines the temporal patterning of gum feeding in two species of sympatric tamarin monkeys, Saguinus mystax and Saguinus fuscicollis, during the diurnal activity period. The number and duration of visits to gum sources and number of gum feeding records are used as parameters to analyze the gum feeding itinerary. Both visits to gum sources and gum feeding records...

Vitamin D metabolites 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D and Kidney function indices and the relationship to diet in Goeldi’s monkeys (Callimico goeldii)

In Brookfield Zoo’s Goeldi’s monkey colony, a large number of deaths related to renal disease has been documented. Review of post-mortem results from Goeldi’s monkeys in the past 20 years revealed that in deaths of animals over 18 months of age, renal disease was a primary pathologic diagnosis. Although the nutrient requirements of Goeldi’s monkeys have not been described, these...

The use of fecal inoculum to determine the rate and extent of in vitro fermentation for cellulose, beet pulp, citrus pulp, and citrus pectin across three lemur species: Varecia variegate, Eulemur fulvus, and Hapalemur griseus

In order to estimate fermentative capacity among lemur species, four fiber substrates were tested across three herbivorous species: Eulemur fulvus, Hapalemur griseus, and Varecia variegata. Substrates were cellulose (CE), beet pulp (BP), citrus pulp (CP), and citrus pectin (PE), which ranged in composition from completely insoluble fiber (CE) to completely soluble fiber (PE), respectively. Animals were offered the same diet...