Posters 11-16


E. Price1, S. Herron1, D. Wormell1, M. Brayshaw1 , and A. Feistner1
1 Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, Trinity, JE3 5BP Jersey, Channel Islands, United Kingdom

Problems potentially related to nutrition that have arisen in the collection of New World primates at Jersey Zoo are described. A study of the nutrition of Geoffroy’s marmosets (Callithrix geoffroyi), initiated because of health problems and high infant mortality, suggested that the diet may have been low in calcium and protein. Alterations were accordingly made to the diet: gum Arabic is now provided on a daily basis for all Callithrix in the collection, and the proportion of insects in the diet has been increased. Palatibility of different concentrations of gum has been investigated to assess the most cost-effective way of maximising gum intake. The diet of pied tamarins (Saguinus bicolor) in the collection has also been modified because of several health and related problems: chronic diarrhoea and “wasting”; frequent observations of coprophagy; the relatively common occurrence of premature and stillbirths; and locomotor problems in young pied tamarins that have had to be confined indoors despite dietary supplementation. These problems suggested that this species has high protein and vitamin D3 requirements. Citrus fruits and other potential irritants have been eliminated from their diet, they are supplied with extra insects daily, and gum Arabic is given regularly. Increasing protein is difficult, as a study on the palatability of several types of primate pellet showed that the pellets designed specifically for New World primates are not the most palatable. Approaches to increasing palatability and intake are described, included the use of different flavourings, and the effect of reducing the amount of fruit presented on pellet intake. Finally, food preferences in several species have been investigated, with an emphasis on the effects of reproductive status on preferences, and the results are presented.


K.A. Slifka1, S.D. Crissey1, J. Harper2, and B. Brewer1 1 Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Conservation Biology and Research Center, Chicago Zoological Society, Brookfield Zoo, Brookfield IL 60513, USA, 2 WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition, Waltham-on-the- Worlds, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE14 4RT, United Kingdom

Energy requirements previously have been examined for domestic cats and some non-domestic species. This study compared gross energy (GE) intake and apparent metabolizable energy (AME) intake based on metabolic body size (MBS) for a raw meat-based diet (raw) and a canned meat-based diet (canned) for six felid species including Felis viverrinus, (n=1), Felis rufus, (n=1), Felis caracal, (n=1), Neofelis nebulosa,(n=1), Panthera pardus orientalis, (n=1) and Panthera leo, (n=2). Cats were fed their usual amount of raw diet for four weeks (Trial 1). Canned diet was offered for a varying number of days depending on acceptability and stool quality (Trial 2). Quantity of diet offered in Trial 2 was based on mean GE intake for each cat during Trial 1. AME was calculated based on the following formula for domestic cats consuming meat diets: AME = (3.9 x protein + 7.7 x fat + 3 x carbohydrate) -5. GE intake/MBS/d was similar between the canned and raw diet for each cat, but was slightly increased overall with the canned diet. AME intake/MBS/d was slightly lower with the canned diet than the raw diet. P. leo and P.p. orientalis had the most noticeable reductions (15.7 and 14.9 kcal, respectively). This apparent decrease in AME intake may be due to the differences in the proportion of AME:GE in the diets. AME was a larger portion of GE in the raw diets (70-75%) than in the canned diet (65%). Large cats appeared to have greater changes in estimated AME intake/MBS/d between diets than smaller cats. This may indicate that felids of differing body sizes may utilize dietary energy differently. AME intakes for both the canned and raw diets were plotted against body weight. Although data points were limited, an allometric relationship between energy intake and body size was indicated.


M.D.A.Ticheler1, E.J.Vedder1, N.M.E.Venmans1, J.G.Bindels2, H.S.A.Heymans3, and G.H.Visser4,5
1Seal Rehabilitation Research Centre Pieterburen (SRRC), Hoofdstraat 94a, 9968 AG Pieterburen, The Netherlands, 2Numico Research B.V., P.O. Box 7005, 6700 CA Wageningen, The Netherlands, 3Emma Children’s Hospital, AMC, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 4Centre or Isotope Research, Nijenborgh 4, 9747 AG Groningen, The Netherlands, 5Zoological Laboratory, P.O. Box 14, 9750 AA Haren, The Netherlands

The milk of pinnepeds contains the highest fat content observed among mammals. The fat content of the mother’s milk of the harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) is approximately 45%. During a relatively short lactation period, this high fat content enables a high growth rate of the pup (about 0.5 kg/day). Under natural conditions, early weaning is supposed to be advantageous because of the risk that a pup loses its mother during the lactation period, which may lead to undernutrition or subsequent death of the pup. Still, each summer about 30 abandoned pups are brought to the SRRC, which are often severely undernourished and dehydrated. Upon arrival until 15 days thereafter, seal pups have been fed with Multi-Milk, the only artificial milk product available with a high fat concentration (12% fat). Although pup survival was very high (95% or higher), growth rates were too low (0.1 kg/day), possibly due to a low intake level of energy and fatty acids. In this study, performed during the summer of 1998, we compared the growth performance of seal pups fed on Multi-Milk (control group, n = 25) with those fed on Multi-Milk plus an oil supplement (experimental group, n = 7). The oil supplement has a fatty acid composition, which comes close to that of the milk of the harbour seal. The Multi-Milk was added with oil up to 22% fat, the highest fat concentration pups accepted without adverse reaction. We measured the body mass, axillary girth, fat layer thickness, and the amount of body water and body fat (with the 2H dilution method). The first results indicate that during the first 14 days, body mass increase was considerably higher in pups of the experimental group (0.24 kg/day) than those of the control group (0.13 kg/day). In addition, in pups of the experimental group axillary girth increased by 0.7 cm/day, compared to 0.2 cm/day for the control group. In conclusion, the oil supplement had a considerable effect on the early growth performance of the pups, but their growth rates are still lower than observed in free-living animals.


L. Tomat1, B. Schumann1, J.L. Atkinson1, and E.V. Valdes1,2
1Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph, Guelph ON Canada N1G 2W1, 2Toronto Zoo, Toronto ON Canada M1B 5K7

By conducting diet evaluations and digestibility trials on captive African elephants (Loxodonta africana), valuable insight into their nutrient utilization and husbandry needs can be gained. The purpose of this study was to examine the digestibility of a diet consisting of equal parts timothy hay (7.6% crude protein (CP), 3.76 kcal/g gross energy (GE), 18.2% acid detergent fibre (ADF) and 9.8% neutral detergent fibre (NDF) on a dry matter (DM) basis) and Toronto Zoo Fibre Plus Herbivore diet (12.7% CP, 3.72 kcal/g GE, 8.6% ADF and 15.2% NDF on a DM basis). Digestibility variation between animals as well as between days was examined. The collection protocol also allowed for evaluation of the effect of length of faecal collection on estimated digestibility. The Toronto Zoo’s seven female African elephants participating in this study were housed in indoor pens but were allowed to follow normal daily activity patterns, including exercise in an adjacent outdoor paddock when weather permitted. Total fresh weight feed intake-averaged 370.6kg per day, or 52.9kg fresh weight per animal per day. In comparison, the total fresh weight faecal output averaged 850.0kg per day for all seven elephants, or 121.4kg per animal per day. Mean total dry matter intake and output were 333.7kg and 181.0kg per day respectively, equivalent to a dry matter intake of 47.7kg per elephant per day and output of 25.8kg per elephant per day. Mean DM digestibility was 45.9%, with mean apparent digestibilities for ADF and NDF of 9.2% and 23.8% respectively. Average organic matter, cell solubles, and hemicellulose digestibilities were 49.2%, 30.8% and 45.6%, respectively while the mean CP digestibility was 42.8%. Average energy digestibility was 44.3%, giving a digestible energy of 1.66kcal/g DM for the combined diet. An apparent average ash digestibility of -59.1%, with values ranging from 22.1% to -163.1%, was attributed to the environmental conditions, which caused a variation in ash ingestion from day to day. Specifically, on days in which the elephants spent time exercising in the outdoor paddock, extraneous ash ingestion was higher due to activities such as dust bathing. In turn, this high ash content influenced other components of the faeces. Protein and other measured organic constituents were inversely related to ash ingestion, presumably due to a dilution effect. Sequential analysis of the apparent digestibilities of dietary components after the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th day of fecal collection showed a constant trend in the data after 3 to 4 days indicating that this is the minimum period appropriate for a digestibility trial carried out with this species.


S.T. van der Wardt1, M.J.L. Kik1, P.S.J. Klaver2, M. Janse2, and A.C. Beynen3
1 Department of Pathology and 3 Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80152, 3508 TD Utrecht, The Netherlands,2 Artis Zoo, 1000 HD Amsterdam, The Netherlands

In order to assess the calcium requirement of the Drakensberg lizard (Pseudocordylus melanotus melanotus), these lizards were fed different calcium levels and a restricted diet of mealworms. There were four groups, two non-reproductive females in each. The various calcium intakes were realised by oral administration of calcium carbonate containing capsules. Excreta were collected and analysed for calcium and uric acid. By collecting pure urinary crystals and assuming that the calcium: uric acid ratio present in mixed excreta equals that in urinary crystals, the amount of calcium in the faeces could be calculated. The lizards appeared to be able to maintain calcium balance at calcium intakes equivalent to a range of 1.4 and 5.8% calcium in the dry matter of feed. Calcium balance was maintained by adapting intestinal calcium absorption.


N.M.C. Witteveen1, B.M.H.L. Verrijdt1, J.M. Hallebeek2 , and A.C. Beynen2
1 Primate Park Apenheul, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, 2 Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht, University, Utrecht, The Netherlands

The world's largest captive colony of woolly monkeys (Lagothrix lagotricha) lives at Apenheul. During the day, the female animals and their infants roam freely and mingle with the visitors. The adult males are kept on an island, but during the night all animals are housed in the same enclosure. The major causes of death are renal and liver failure associated with malign hypertension. The objective of our study was to describe the diet composition of the monkeys. The various foodstuffs provided were recorded and the nutrient composition of the complete diet was assessed using the Dutch food table. In addition, a sample reflecting the whole diet composition was chemically analysed. In an attempt to qualify the nutrient composition of the diet provided, we compared it with the nutrient requirements of New-World monkeys as set by the National Research Council. For further comparison, we also used the composition of four commercial, complete diets for New-World monkeys. The possible relation between the diet provided and the causes of death in the monkeys will be discussed.