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Armstrong D.L.,Henry Doorly Zoo
Journal of Wildlife Management

Scientific writing depends on citing accurate sources. There can be real-world consequences for failing to do so. As an example, several authors have stated that tiletaminezolazepam (Telazol®) is contraindicated for tiger (Panthera tigris) immobilization. This admonition has virtually evolved into dogma in the field of wildlife chemical immobilization and was recently used to challenge field research. However, a literature review revealed that no author cited the primary reference that raised concern about the use of Telazol in tigers. We conducted an internet-based inquiry of zoo veterinarians combined with personal communications and other field reports to gather data on the use of Telazol in tigers. These data indicated that the mortality rate (1.3) of tigers given Telazol was similar to other immobilization regimens in other species, which suggested that, although adverse reactions may still occur, tiletaminezolazepam should not be contraindicated in tigers. This investigation emphasized the need to conduct thorough literature reviews before making unsubstantiated claims. © 2010 The Wildlife Society. Source

Kerr K.R.,Urbana University | Morris C.L.,Iowa State University | Burke S.L.,Henry Doorly Zoo | Swanson K.S.,Urbana University
Zoo Biology

Our objectives were to evaluate the composition of whole 1- to- 3-day-old chicks (Whole), ground adult chicken (Ground), chicken-based canned diet (Canned), and chicken-based extruded diet (Extruded); and evaluate apparent total tract energy and macronutrient digestibility of these diets by four captive African wildcats (Felis silvestrus lybica) utilizing a Latin Square design. We analyzed diets for macronutrient and mineral (Ca, P, K, Na, Mg, Fe, Cu, Mn, Zn, and S) composition, and screened for potentially pathogenic bacteria. Canned and Extruded diets tested negative for all microbes and met macronutrient and mineral recommendations for domestic cat foods [AAFCO (2012). Official publication. Oxford, IN: AAFCO]. Whole prey diets (Ground and Whole) met macronutrient requirements for domestic cats; however, they were below recommendations in some minerals [Mn, Cu, K, and Na; AAFCO (2012). Official publication. Oxford, IN: AAFCO], and tested positive for potentially pathogenic microorganisms (Salmonella, E. coli spp.). For all diets, apparent total tract organic matter digestibility was high (>85%). Organic matter digestibility was higher (P≤0.05) for cats fed Ground (94%) compared to those fed Canned, Extruded, or Whole (87, 86, and 85%, respectively). Apparent total tract crude protein digestibility was lower than expected (i.e., <85%) for cats fed Extruded (81%) and fat digestibility was lower than expected (i.e., <90%) for cats fed Whole (82%). Cats fed whole prey items tested herein adequately maintained BW short-term; however, long-term studies are needed. These data indicate that there may be a need to monitor whole prey composition and when necessary, adjust the diet to account for potential deficiencies. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Polito M.J.,University of North Carolina at Wilmington | Abel S.,Henry Doorly Zoo | Tobias C.R.,University of North Carolina at Wilmington | Emslie S.D.,University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Polar Biology

Feathers are used commonly for stable isotope analysis to assess the foraging ecology and migration patterns of birds. However, these studies often require knowledge of species-specific feather isotopic discrimination factors (the differences in isotopic ratios between a species' diet and feathers), which can be influenced by a species' physiological state during molt. In this study, we determined the isotopic discrimination factors (Δ13Cdiet-feather and Δ15Ndiet-feather) between adult gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua) diet and feathers in a controlled study. In addition, we tested whether molt duration or the magnitude of voluntary dietary reduction during molt influenced isotopic discrimination, as previous studies have found that nutritional stress can exaggerate 15N enrichment and in some cases lead to 13C depletion in feathers. Contrary to this hypothesis, we found no effect of molt duration or dietary reduction on discrimination factors, suggesting that isotopic discrimination is not linearly related to these measures of fasting intensity in penguins. Furthermore, we found that the range of Δ15Ndiet-feather found in several species of penguins, which fast while they molt, was similar to discrimination factors in fish-eating birds, which do not fast during molt. It is likely that species-specific metabolic adaptations that limit nutritional stress while fasting and variation in their relative reliance on endogenous vs. dietary pools during feather growth may confound the use of Δ15Ndiet-feather as a general measure of nutritional stress when comparing among species. © 2011 Springer-Verlag. Source

Brasso R.L.,University of North Carolina at Wilmington | Abel S.,Henry Doorly Zoo | Polito M.J.,University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology

Avian eggs have become one of the most common means of evaluating mercury contamination in aquatic and marine environments and can serve as reliable indicators of dietary mercury exposure. We investigated patterns of mercury deposition into the major components of penguin eggs (shell, membrane, albumen, and yolk) using the Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua) as a model species. Eggs were collected from both wild and captive populations of Gentoo penguins to compare the allocation of mercury into individual egg components of birds feeding at disparate trophic positions as inferred by stable isotope analysis. Mercury concentrations in captive penguins were an order of magnitude higher than in wild birds, presumably because the former were fed only fish at a higher trophic position relative to wild penguins that fed on a diet of 72-93% krill (Euphausia spp.). Similar to previous studies, we found the majority of total egg mercury sequestered in the albumen (92%) followed by the yolk (6.7%) with the lowest amounts in the shell (0.9%) and membrane (0.4%). Regardless of dietary exposure, mercury concentrations in yolk and membrane, and to a lesser degree shell, increased with increasing albumen mercury (used as a proxy for whole-egg mercury), indicating that any component, in the absence of others, may be suitable for monitoring changes in dietary mercury. Because accessibility of egg tissues in the wild varies, the establishment of consistent relationships among egg components will facilitate comparisons with any other study using eggs to assess dietary exposure to mercury. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011. Source

Quigley K.S.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Evermann J.F.,Washington State University | Leathers C.W.,Washington State University | Armstrong D.L.,Henry Doorly Zoo | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Diseases

We report the first documented case of niorbillivirus infection in a wild, freeranging Siberian tiger (Panthern tigris altaica). The tigress entered a small village in the Russian Far East in an ambulatory but stuporous state with no apparent recognition or fear of humans. Her condition progressed rapidly with neurological signs, anorexia, and ultimately death. Histologic lesions included vacuolated to malacic white matter in the brain stem, cerebellum, and thalamus, with associated lymphocytic meningoencephalitis. Large, intranuclear, eosinophilic inclusions were within regional astrocytes, and the brain lesions were irnniuriohistochernically positive when stained for canine distemper viral antigen. Hematologic and blood chemistry results were consistent with overwhelming systemic infection and starvation. The animal also was antibody-positive for canine distemper virus, feline panleukopenia, and fehne Coronavirus. © Wildlife Disease Association 2010. Source

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