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...

Safety of feeding anadromous fish to polar bears

Fish are a standard part of polar bear diets in zoos and aquaria. Though most fish are frozen and thawed for feeding, some institutions have access to fresh fish such as salmon and trout. Recently, animal managers have encouraged the feeding of live fish for enrichment purposes. In 1982 two polar bears living in a Pacific Northwest zoo were thought...

Summary of polar bear nutrition guidelines

Polar bears, the most carnivorous of the Ursidae family, prey primarily on ringed seals. When brought into captivity, maintaining their nutritional and psychological health can be challenging. Due to the lack of in-depth species-specific research, dietary recommendations for polar bears are formulated considering known requirements of related domestic animals, the diets, and nutrients consumed by healthy captive bears. A balanced...

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...