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CZAAWE Resource Article
Nutrition of the captive western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla): A dietary survey
Year of publication
The successful management of captive animals requires attention to multiple interconnected factors. One critical aspect of the daily life of a captive animal is the recommended and/or provisioned diet. This study focuses on the diets of zoo-housed gorillas. A national survey of diets among zoo-housed gorillas was conducted to examine diets being offered to captive gorillas in the United States and Canada. This survey serves as a follow-up to a 1995 dietary survey of zoo-housed gorillas and goes further to quantify nutritional profiles at responding institutions. Results are encouraging, as zoos have made clear improvements in dietary nutrient profiles offered over the past 15 years. However, we suggest that zoological and sanctuary institutions follow Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP) recommendations and work to continuously improve diets provided, which could improve gorillas' health and well-being. Zoo Biol. 33:419–425, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals Inc.