CZAAWE Resource Article

Zoo Animal Feeding: A Natural History Viewpoint
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
2008
Authors 
Publication/Journal 
Der Zoologische Garten
ISBN 
00445169
Abstract 
In order to formulate animal feeding programs, zoos traditionally borrow knowledge and techniques, developed for domesticated animals, from livestock industry. Although livestock industry provides some of the basic components of feeding it is aimed at economic gain from animals, and the number of species it covers is extremely small. Moreover, wild animals are forced to make considerable adjustments to captivity in all aspects of life, and limitations of domesticated animal models should be recognized and examined. There exists a dire need to increase utilization of knowledge on food habits of wild animals acquired by field biologists, in our effort to improve zoo animal husbandry. Natural history attracts limited interest by zoos. However, it offers a wealth of information which needs to be explored to benefit zoo animal feeding practices.