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Zoo biology [journal]
- Are we ignoring neutral and negative human-animal relationships in zoos? [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Oct 18.
Human-animal interactions (HAI), which may lead to human-animal relationships (HAR), may be positive, neutral, or negative in nature. Zoo studies show that visitors may be stressful, may have no effect, or may be enriching. There is also evidence that good HARs set up between animals and their keepers can have positive effects on animal welfare. However, we need to know more about negative HARs, and as a first step we attempt to do this here by considering cases where animals attack people in the zoo. Due to the sensitivity and rarity of these events data appear sparse and unsystematically collected. Here, information available in the public domain about the circumstances of these attacks has been collated to test hypotheses about negative HAIs derived from a model of zoo HARs. The limited data presented here broadly support the zoo HAR model, and suggest that attacks usually happen in unusual circumstances, where there may be a failure by the animal to recognise the HAR, or where the relationship, if there is one, does not hold; and give some support to the prediction that exposure to many keepers may impair the development of a positive HAR. This study may provide useful information for the zoo community to proactively collect systematic standardised records, which will enable a fuller understanding of zoo HARs, upon which appropriate measures might be adopted to build better zoo HARs, which are likely to positively impact zoo animal welfare, and reduce these rare incidences further. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals Inc.
- A visual system for scoring body condition of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Oct 16.
A body condition score (BCS) may provide information on the health or production potential of an animal; it may also reflect the suitability of the environment to maintain an animal population. Thus assessing the BCS of Asian elephants is important for their management. There is a need for a robust BCS applicable to both wild and captive elephants of all age categories based on the minimum and maximum possible subcutaneous body fat and muscle deposits. The visually based system for scoring the body condition of elephants presented here satisfies these criteria and is quick, inexpensive, non-invasive and user-friendly in the field. The BCS scale correlates (P < 0.05) with morphometric indices such as weight, girth, and skin fold measures. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- Nutrition and health in amphibian husbandry. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Oct 8.
Amphibian biology is intricate, and there are many inter-related factors that need to be understood before establishing successful Conservation Breeding Programs (CBPs). Nutritional needs of amphibians are highly integrated with disease and their husbandry needs, and the diversity of developmental stages, natural habitats, and feeding strategies result in many different recommendations for proper care and feeding. This review identifies several areas where there is substantial room for improvement in maintaining healthy ex situ amphibian populations specifically in the areas of obtaining and utilizing natural history data for both amphibians and their dietary items, achieving more appropriate environmental parameters, understanding stress and hormone production, and promoting better physical and population health. Using a scientific or research framework to answer questions about disease, nutrition, husbandry, genetics, and endocrinology of ex situ amphibians will improve specialists' understanding of the needs of these species. In general, there is a lack of baseline data and comparative information for most basic aspects of amphibian biology as well as standardized laboratory approaches. Instituting a formalized research approach in multiple scientific disciplines will be beneficial not only to the management of current ex situ populations, but also in moving forward with future conservation and reintroduction projects. This overview of gaps in knowledge concerning ex situ amphibian care should serve as a foundation for much needed future research in these areas. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- Introduction. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Oct 7.
- Leaping forward in amphibian health and nutrition. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Oct 3.
The Epidemiology Working Group, a subgroup of the participants of the Disney's Animal Kingdom Workshop on "Ex situ Amphibian Medicine and Nutrition," identified a critical need to design and implement approaches that will facilitate the assessment and evaluation of factors impacting amphibian health. In this manuscript, we describe and summarize the outcomes of this workshop with regards (a) the identified gaps in knowledge, (b) identified priorities for closing these gaps, and (c) compile a list of actions to address these priorities. Four general areas of improvement were identified in relation to how measurements are currently being taken to evaluate ex situ amphibian health: nutrition, infectious diseases, husbandry, and integrated biology including genetics and endocrinology. The proposed actions that will be taken in order to address the identified gaps include: (1) identify and quantify major health issues affecting ex situ amphibian populations, (2) identify and coordinate laboratories to conduct analyses using standardized and validated protocols to measure nutritional, infectious diseases, genetic, and hormonal parameters, (3) determine in situ baseline distribution of parameters related to amphibian health, and (4) establish an inter-disciplinary research approach to target specific hypotheses related to amphibian health such as the effects of population genetics (e.g., relatedness, inbreeding) on disease susceptibility, or how environmental parameters are related to chronic stress and hormone production. We think is important to address current gaps in knowledge regarding amphibian health in order to increase the probability to succeed in addressing the issues faced by in situ and ex situ amphibians populations. We are confident that the recommendations provided in this manuscript will facilitate to address these challenges and could have a positive impact in both the health of in situ and ex situ amphibian populations, worldwide. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- Challenges with effective nutrient supplementation for amphibians: A review of cricket studies. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Oct 1.
Over the last 25 years, numerous studies have investigated the impact of insect supplementation on insect nutrient content. In light of recent nutrition related challenges with regards to zoo amphibians fed an insect based diet, this review attempts to comprehensively compile both anecdotal and published data in the context of practical application on this topic. Insects, primarily crickets, used for amphibian diets historically demonstrate low concentrations of key nutrients including calcium and vitamin A. Commonly used practices for supplementation involving powder dusting or gut loading have been shown to improve delivery of calcium and vitamin A, though often not reaching desired nutrient concentrations. The large variety of factors influencing insect nutrient content are difficult to control, making study design, and results often inconsistent. Formulation and availability of more effective gut loading diets, combined with a standardized protocol for insect husbandry and dietary management may be the most effective way to supplement insects for use in amphibian feeding programs. Ideally, the nutritional improvement of feeder insects would begin at the breeder level; however, until this becomes a viable choice, we confirm that supplementation of crickets through both gut-loading and dusting appear necessary to support the nutritional health of amphibians and other insectivores in managed collections. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- Characterization of a pancreatic islet cell tumor in a polar bear (Ursus maritimus). [Journal Article]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Sep; 33(5):446-51.
Herein, we report a 25-year-old male polar bear suffering from a pancreatic islet cell tumor. The aim of this report is to present a case of this rare tumor in a captive polar bear. The implication of potential risk factors such as high carbohydrate diet or the presence of amyloid fibril deposits was assessed. Necropsy examination revealed several other changes, including nodules observed in the liver, spleen, pancreas, intestine, and thyroid glands that were submitted for histopathologic analysis. Interestingly, the multiple neoplastic nodules were unrelated and included a pancreatic islet cell tumor. Immunohistochemistry of the pancreas confirmed the presence of insulin and islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) within the pancreatic islet cells. The IAPP gene was extracted from the paraffin-embedded liver tissue and sequenced. IAPP cDNA from the polar bear exhibits some differences as compared to the sequence published for several other species. Different factors responsible for neoplasms in bears such as diet, infectious agents, and industrial chemical exposure are reviewed. This case report raised several issues that further studies may address by evaluating the prevalence of cancers in captive or wild animals. Zoo Biol. 33:446-451, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals Inc.
- Comparison of body temperature readings between an implantable microchip and a cloacal probe in lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus sp.). [Journal Article]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Sep; 33(5):452-4.
Body temperature readings can be a useful diagnostic tool for identifying the presence of subclinical disease. Traditionally, rectal or cloacal thermometry has been used to obtain body temperatures. The use of implantable microchips to obtain these temperatures has been studied in a variety of animals, but not yet in avian species. Initially, timepoint one (T1 ), nine lorikeets were anesthetized via facemask induction with 5% isoflurane and maintained at 2-3% for microchip placement and body temperature data collection. Body temperature was measured at 0 and 2 min post-anesthetic induction both cloacally, using a Cardell veterinary monitor and also via implantable microchip, utilizing a universal scanner. On two more occasions, timepoints two and three (T2 , T3 ), the same nine lorikeets were manually restrained to obtain body temperature readings both cloacally and via microchip, again at minutes 0 and 2. There was no statistical difference between body temperatures, for both methods, at T1 . Microchip temperatures were statistically different than cloacal temperatures at T2 and T3 . Body temperatures at T1 , were statistically different from those obtained at T2 and T3 for both methods. Additional studies are warranted to verify the accuracy of microchip core body temperature readings in avian species. Zoo Biol. 33:452-454, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals Inc.
- Genetic analysis of captive proboscis monkeys. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Sep 29.
Information on the genetic relationships of captive founders is important for captive population management. In this study, we investigated DNA polymorphisms of four microsatellite loci and the mitochondrial control region sequence of five proboscis monkeys residing in a Japanese zoo as captive founders, to clarify their genetic relationship. We found that two of the five monkeys appeared to be genetically related. Furthermore, the haplotypes of the mitochondrial control region of the five monkeys were well differentiated from the haplotypes previously reported from wild populations from the northern area of Borneo, indicating a greater amount of genetic diversity in proboscis monkeys than previously reported. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- Effect of dietary carotenoids on vitamin A status and skin pigmentation in false tomato frogs (Dyscophus guineti). [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2014 Sep 29.
Several species in captivity develop nutritional diseases including vitamin A deficiency; cases of this disease have been documented in amphibians, which may be linked to an insectivorous diet lacking in vitamin A or carotenoids. Adults and young of Dyscophus guineti were fed three diets over 9 weeks to evaluate effects on carotenoids and vitamin A status and skin pigmentation. Feeder crickets were either supplemented with soy oil (control, CON), soy oil enriched with β-carotene (BC) or mixed carotenoids (MIX) by direct injection of known dosages. Vitamin A from feeder crickets (measured as retinol) was higher in insects supplemented with both BC and MIX; (P = 0.0001) and plasma retinol concentrations were significantly higher in frogs fed MIX (P < 0.02). Results suggest that both false tomato frogs and feeder crickets could receive some provitamin A activity through consumption of diets supplemented with β-carotene, and xanthophylls like lutein and zeaxanthin. Pigmentation was evaluated weekly through the use of visual color charts, as well as quantitatively using a hand-held spectrophotometer. MIX diets had a significant effect on skin color values (P < 0.0001), as well as on lightness (P = 0.0005) and hue (P = 0.0022). Results indicated that frogs fed with BC changed to yellower colors, and frogs fed with MIX changed to oranger colors. Visual color chart observations also scored significantly different between CON and MIX diets (P < 0.05); the animals fed MIX also appeared oranger according to the qualitative observations. Dietary supplements with carotenoids resulted in color changes and higher circulating retinol concentrations in false tomato frogs. These pigments may provide provitamin A activity in diets, thus may support improved nutrition and health of captive-fed insectivorous amphibians. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals Inc.