EFFECTS OF DIETARY CHANGES ON THE BEHAVIOUR AND FAECAL CONSISTENCY OF THREE CAPTIVE EASTERN LOWLAND GORILLAS (Gorilla gorilla graueri) AT THE ROYAL ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF ANTWERPTommaso Savini1,2, Kristin Leus2 , and Linda van Elsacker2
1 University of Turin, Biology department (primatology), Via Accademia Albertina 17, 10123 Torino, Italy,2 Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp, Koningin Astridplein 26, 2018 Antwerp, Belgium
An important problem with the eastern lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla graueri) at the Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp was regular re-occurrence of soft faeces. Examination of fresh stool samples often revealed the presence of protozoas. Because medical treatment was not always successful, the hypothesis was tested that this problem might in part be attributed to the animals diet. The goal of the study was to evaluate the possible relationships between the current diet, as well as a new improved diet, and the occurrence of soft faeces and the activity pattern of the animals. A series of baseline behavioural observations (2 hours per day (random spread) per animal during 12 days) were started which also allowed more precise quantification of the daily intake of food per animal. For each animal the daily-consumed diet was then analysed using the Animal Nutritionist program, and was compared with the diet of wild lowland gorillas and the SSP recommendations for captive animals. A new diet, containing less fruits and concentrates and more green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, leaves and branches than the old diet was proposed and introduced. In comparison with the baseline observations, observations of the situation with the new diet revealed an absence of soft faeces in the 30-year-old female and the 41-year-old male, combined with a significant increase in food searching behaviour for the female and eating for the male. In contrast, the younger animal (a female of 8 years) showed only a slight reduction in the occurrence of soft faeces and no significant changes in behaviour. It cannot be excluded that for this animal the occurrence of soft faeces is related to other factors in addition to diet.
DIET ASSIMILATION AND PLASMA NUTRIENT CONCENTRATIONS IN THREE SPECIES OF CAPTIVE PTEROPID BATSEllen S. Dierenfeld PhD1 and John Seyjagat Dr.2
1 Department of Nutrition, Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, NY 10460-1099, USA, 2 The Lubee Foundation, 1309 N.W. 192nd Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32609, USA
Intake, digestion, and circulating fat-soluble vitamin and mineral concentrations were compared in females of 3 species of captive fruit bats (Pteropus vampyrus, P. hypomelanus, and P. pumilus) fed the same diet. Daily total food intake averaged 28% of body mass on an as-fed basis, or 7% on a dry matter basis. Dietary leftovers contained higher concentrations of protein, fat, P, Mg, and Zn than the diet offered, and lower levels of soluble carbohydrates (CHO), suggesting some nutrient selectivity even in an apparently homogenous diet. Digestibility of dry matter (89 to 94%), protein (76 to 91%), crude fat (51 to 58%), and water-soluble CHO (95 to 98%) did not vary among species. Plasma concentrations of vitamin A (0.02 to 0.05 µg/ml retinol), vitamin D (1.50 ng/ml 25-OH D3; 93 to 108 pg/ml 1,25 diOH D3), and vitamin E (0.49 to 1.05 µg/ml a-tocopherol) were lower than in other herbivorous mammals, whereas plasma mineral concentrations were within ranges of other mammals. Body size had no consistent effect on the digestive physiology of these bats. Results indicate that Pteropus hypomelanus may provide a suitable physiological model for nutrition studies of other, more endangered, fruit bats.
NUTRIENT INTAKE OF 1-4 WEEK OLD SUCKLING KITTENS (Felis catus): A MODEL FOR ARTIFICIAL REARING OF YOUNG FELIDAE1Søren Wamberg2 and Wouter H. Hendriks3
2 Department of Physiology, Institute of Medical Biology, Odense University, DK-5000 Odense C., Denmark, 3 Monogastric Research Centre, Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
This study presents data on the daily milk and nutrient intake of the suckling young cat and estimates of the essential nutrient intake for normal growth and development based on the daily intake of metabolizable energy. The values reported may serve as a useful guide for artificial rearing of the offspring of small and large Felidae and for the manufacture of high-quality milk replacer.
1 This study was supported by the Danish Agricultural and Veterinary Research Council and the Heinz-Watties Companion Animal Nutrition Research Unit, Massey University, New Zealand
OKAPI FEEDING (Okapia johnstoni) IN EIGHT EUROPEAN ZOOSJohan Kanselaar1, Joeke Nijboer BSc 2 and Kristin Leus PhD3
1 Agricultural College Delft, The Netherlands, 2 Biological & Veterinary Department Rotterdam Zoo, AM 3000 Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 3 Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp, 2018 Antwerp, Belgium
By comparison of diets fed to okapis in captivity with their natural diet more information can be obtained about how to feed okapis in captivity. In nature they feed mostly on fresh leaves; in zoos they are fed concentrates, roughage (Lucerne and browse) and fruit and vegetables. For one week, all amounts of food consumed as well as the amounts of faeces produced by eight okapis were measured in eight different European zoos. Samples of foodstuff and faeces of okapi were collected and analysed. Average dry matter, crude protein, NDF, ADF and lignin intake were analysed for each okapi. In addition digestion coefficient were calculated for each okapi. Average dry matter intake in grams/day/okapi for vegetables and fruits was 431 ± 246, for concentrates 1,737 ± 392, for roughage 1,983 ± 883 and the total food intake was 4,151 ± 782. Although vegetables and fruits are consumed a lot, they essentially contribute little to the nutrient value of an okapi diet in comparison to concentrates and roughage. Browse intake is poor in winter. The total food intake is higher in Europe (8,320 gr.) than in North America (8,120 gr.) Roughage is consumed twice as much in North America (4,320 gr.) than in Europe (2,450 gr.). Concentrates are being consumed more in North America (2,520 gr.) than in Europe (1,940 gr.). The intake of vegetables and fruits is higher in Europe (3,930 gr.) than in North America (1,280 gr.). The calculated digestion coefficient for the DM is 71% ± 7, the average Crude Protein digestion coefficient is 78% ±4, for NDF it is 58% ±9, ADF 52% ±10 and the average digestion coefficient for lignin is 34% ±14. With the help of this project a nutrition guideline will be set up for the SSP and EEP okapi population.
RECOMMENDATION FOR FEEDING OKAPI FOR THE EEP AND SSPSusan D. Crissey PhD1, Joeke Nijboer BSc 2, Kristin Leus PhD3, and Barbara Lintzenich1
1 Zoo Nutrition Services, Chicago Zoological Society, Brookfield Zoo, USA, 2 Biological &Veterinary Department,Rotterdam Zoo, 3000 AM Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 3 Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp Zoo, 2018 Antwerp, Belgium
Based on the data collected in eight European zoos and four North American zoos and from the wild, to support optimal reproduction and longevity of okapi, diet changes must be initiated. The comparison of diet intake as consumed indicates that European okapi consumed more food than the North American okapi. However, on a dry matter basis, the North American okapi consume more.
Table 1: Comparison of diet intake as consumed and dry matter intake (grams).
N. America Europe Epulu
Range intake/day (Hart, 1989)
Produce 0-6,000 1,500-8,800
Mean 2,500 3,900 23,500 (leaves)
Concentrates 1,200-4000 1300-2,600
Mean 2,000 1,900
Roughage 2,200-15,000 800-4,200
Total, Mean 7,500 +/-1,600 8,200 +/-2,100
Produce 106-171 190-933
Mean 126 430
Concentrates 1,600-3,700 11,300-2,300
Mean 2500 1,740
Roughage 2,200-4,100 690-3,450
Mean 3,000 1,980
Total Mean 5,500 +/-1,400 4,150 +/-780 4,100
Table 2: Diet analysis (%DMB)
N. America Europe Epulu
Range mean Range mean Range Mean
CP 17.7-19.6 18.4 15.1-20.5 18.7 12.0-12.9* 12.4*
Fat 1.5-2.01 1.1 2.9-4.5 3.7
NDF 20.1-38.4 32.3 31.2-50.2 44.2 34.2-51.1 44.7
ADF 14.3-36.9 24.1 17.9-33.8 28.8 23.4-41.1 34.8
As an example of full cooperation, after discussion and review of data, the following are general recommendation to the SP and EEP for feeding okapis. Of the total diet: 50% should include a good quality of alfalfa 25% must be a nutritionally complete concentrate 25% should be produce The daily diet intake on a dry matter basis should be 2% of the body weight/day Browse used for behavioural considerations and in substitution for alfalfa is good if the quality and palatability are poor. Care must be taken to offer approved browse high in protein and adequate digestibility.