Posters 6-10


E. W. Heymann1
1 Abteilung Verhaltensforschung & Ökologie, Deutsches Primatenzentrum, Kellnerweg 4, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany

Callitrichines are widely used as laboratory, zoo and pet animals. Despite considerable improvements in the composition of diets, gastro-intestinal diseases remain a major health problem in captive callitrichines. Apart from the chemical and energetic composition of diets, other factors that have received less attention may play an important role for the nutrition of callitrichines, too, e.g. temporal patterns of feeding or the ingestion of whole seeds. During several field studies of moustached tamarins (Saguinus mystax) in northeastern Peruvian Amazonian, different aspects of their feeding ecology were investigated. Two aspects may be of particular relevance for the nutrition of callitrichines in captivity: temporal feeding patterns and the almost constant ingestion of whole seeds. Moustached tamarins use gums (mainly from trees of the genus Parkia [Mimosaceae]) throughout the year, but especially during periods of reduced fruit availability. The consumption of gums is not evenly distributed throughout the day but takes place mainly in the afternoon. This is considered as an adaptation to the longer period required for the digestion of the long-chained carbohydrates of gums. In contrast, fruits with their readily accessible carbohydrates are mainly consumed in the morning. Moustached tamarins swallow the seeds of more than 50% of fruit species they consume and void them undigested with their faeces. Dimensions of seeds range from < 1 mm to 2.5 cm length, and most are 1.2-1.8 cm long. More than 90% of all faecal samples include seeds. Thus, the gastrointestinal tract of the tamarins is constantly faced with indigestible, bulky material resulting in a constant mechanical stimulation. It is suggested that in the captive nutrition of callitrichines aspects like the temporal patterning of feeding and the uptake of indigestible bulky material receive more attention. This could alleviate health problems that persist despite the considerable efforts of optimising the diet of captive callitrichines.


D.C. Houston1
1 Division of Environmental & Evolutionary Biology University of Glasgow, Graham Kerr Building, Glasgow G12 8QQ, Scottland, United Kingdom

Analysis of soil eaten by elephants from a mountain site at Ngorongoro, northern Tanzania, showed it to consist mainly of clay containing poorly crystallised kaolin. The soil was tested for its ability to adsorb secondary plant compounds, and found to be close to that of pure kaolin. It is suggested that, is well as deriving minerals from the ingestion of soil, elephants also select soil with good caution exchange capacity because this assists them in the detoxification of forest vegetation.


D. Isler1 and T. Huber2
1 Provimi Kliba AG, CH-4303 Kaiseraugst, Switzerland, 2 F. Hoffmann-La Roche, CH-4002, Basel, Switzerland

Two lots of guinea pig diet (KLIBA Art. No. 3420) were fabricated with the KLIBA standard procedure (conditioning temperature >90°C) on the same day: lot 1, contained vitamin C in a coated form (Rovimix C-EC) at a dose of 2g/kg; lot 2, contained vitamin C as ascorbyl-monophosphate 35% (Rovimix Stay-C 35) at a dose of 440ppm ascorbic acid equivalents. Samples of each lot were taken before (mash) and after pelleting. Both, mash and pellets of each lot were than divided into two groups, one of which was stored at room temperature (RT) the other was stored at 35°C (stress storage). In addition, pellets of each lot were vacuum-sealed, irradiated (minimal dose: 25kGy) and then stored at room temperature. Vitamin C measurements were performed by F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. (standard determination) on the day of production (0-values) and1 month, 4 months, and 7 months after the fabrication day.


  • In the mash, retention of vitamin C activity was retained irrespective of the galenic formulation and storage treatment over 7 months (empty columns, fig. a and b).

  • The pelleting procedure (0-values) reduced Vitamin C activity by about 20% in the feed lot with Rovimix C-EC (fig a) and by 15% in that containing Stay-C 35 (fig. B).

  • In the pellets with Rovimix C-EC, vitamin C activity decreased however dramatically with time (fig a); after one month, activity was about half of the initial value in the pellets stored at RT and only 15% in pellets stored at 35°C. After 4 months, only 7% of the initial activity remained in the pellets stored at room temperature and was below detection in pellets stored at 35°C.

  • Sensitivity of Rovimix C-EC on radiation was difficult to judge from the present data since potentially detoriating processes during extra handling (sealing, transport temperatures etc.) may have aggraveted the time dependent decrease (fig a).

  • In contrast, the pellets with Rovimix Stay-C 35 were resistant to radiation as well as to a time dependent decay even after stress storage for 7 months (fig b).

  • Conclusion:
    In guinea pig feed (Kliba Art. 3420), the use of vitamin C in form of Rovimix Stay-C 35 guarantees stable Vitamin C activity over 7 months. This activity remains essentially the same after irradiation with >25kGy and during storage even at high temperature.


    L. Kolter1, H. Harren², M. Drenthe², T. Huisman², and F. de Jong²
    1 Zoologischer Garten Köln, PF 68 03 69, 50706 Köln, Germany, ² Van Hall Institute, POB 1528, 8901 BV Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

    Based on the assumption that species are adapted to the seasonally varying diets available in their natural habitat, these diets should meet the specific requirements best. In order to improve the rather vague and crude feeding recommendations within the Ursid husbandry guidelines a project was initiated, to compile in detail the literature data on diet composition of Andean bears, Malayan sun bears, and Asiatic black bears in the wild. Simultaneously a survey was done on the composition and amount of diets offered to these bear species in selected zoos. The nutrient composition of the zoo diets was estimated by using currently available compendiums. The same approach was used for the natural food. In cases data were not available for the listed wild food items, values of similar or related known food species were taken. Even the few studies published revealed, that the bears take a wide variety of mainly vegetarian food. For sun bears insects are important diet components. For some of the naturally taken and for many similar food items nutrient composition could be estimated. Because the amount of each diet component selected by the bears during a certain season is unknown, total nutrient intake in the wild could not be calculated and used for comparison with the zoo diet. Instead the nutrient composition of the zoo diets offered was compared with two standards. The data varied between zoos. The values of several nutrients deviated considerably from the standards. The results are discussed with regard to further research necessary to close the gaps.


    L. K. Lambrakis1,2, J. L. Atkinson1, and E. V. Valdés1,2
    1Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph, Guelph ON Canada N1G 2W1, 2Toronto Zoo, Toronto ON Canada M1B 5K7

    Red pandas (Ailurus fulgens) are unique animals from a dietary point of view. Approximately 95 - 99% of the red pandas’ natural diet consists of bamboo, yet these animals possess a gut typical of a mammalian carnivore, completely lacking any type of fermentation site such as a cecum. In captivity however, red pandas are rarely fed a diet solely consisting of bamboo. Red pandas held in North American zoological collections are a fed a diet according to the Species Survival Plan (SSP). The focus of this study was to determine how the red panda utilizes the dietary components of the modified SSP diet at the Toronto Zoo. Four dietary treatments were evaluated for feed intake and digestibility: Toronto Zoo Primate Chow and fruits (A), Toronto Zoo Primate Chow alone (B), Mazuri Leaf Eater Primate Biscuit and fruits (C) and Mazuri Leaf Eater Primate Biscuit alone (D). Four red pandas (Ailurus fulgens styani) were used in the study in cooperation with the Toronto Zoo. Feed and fecal samples were analysed for dry matter (DM), gross energy (GE), crude protein (CP), acid detergent fibre (ADF), neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and ash. Daily DM consumption by red pandas, expressed as a percentage of body weight, was greater than reported for other carnivores, ranging from 1.59 - 2.03% in the present study. The Mazuri Leaf Eater Primate Biscuit had a higher CP content (24.7% vs. 17.4%), a higher ADF content (17.2% vs. 11.8%) and a higher NDF content (29.9% vs. 21.9%) than the Toronto Zoo Primate Chow. However, this higher fibre content in turn affected the digestibility of other components. Diets A and B had a higher dry matter, ADF and gross energy digestibility than diets C and D. Trials A and B resulted in digestibility coefficients of 76.8% and 70.0% for DM, 52.9% and 42.6% for ADF and 74.3% and 74.3% for GE, whereas in trials C and D digestibility coefficients of 65.9% and 62.2% for DM, 35.6% and 34.7% for ADF and 66.3% and 69.2% for GE were obtained. Crude protein and NDF digestibility coefficients were relatively consistent throughout all dietary treatments, ranging from 78.2 - 80.9% and 45.1 - 54.4% respectively. The trend toward higher digestibility coefficients found with the Toronto Zoo Primate Chow diets implies that the chow is utilized to a greater extent than the Mazuri Leaf Eater Primate Biscuit by red pandas. The Toronto Zoo Primate Chow compares well in nutritional composition with the red panda’s natural diet, bamboo. Red pandas digest fibre only partially, and protein and gross energy more efficiently. Red pandas at the Toronto Zoo were observed to consume grass in the enclosure, indicating that these animals possibly seek a fibre substitute when bamboo is not available.