Nutritional composition and digestibility by ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) of whole animals and a commercial diet

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Cynthia L. Bennett, Susan D. Booth-Binczik, Suzy R. E. Steele
Zoo Biology
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Abstract Felids are adapted to eat whole prey, but in North American zoos are usually fed processed diets based on muscle meat. We analyzed proximate nutrient composition and digestibility by ocelots of a commercial processed diet and whole animals of five species. The processed diet did not differ significantly from the whole animals in proximate composition, although it was at one end of the range of results for all nutrients. Domestic chicks were significantly lower than all other dietary items tested in digestibility of energy and fat, and lower than rabbits and quail in digestibility of dry matter. There were no other significant differences. These results suggest that the commercial diet tested provides an appropriate nutritional environment for ocelots with respect to proximate constituents. Studies of vitamin and mineral composition and digestibility and comparisons to wild prey species should be conducted to permit a full evaluation. Zoo Biol 29:753–759, 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.


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