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Development of a new diet for Kodiak bears

Development of a new diet for Kodiak bears

Samenvatting

Nutrition is an important consideration in zoos, as it affects the physical and mental wellbeing of the animals. To satisfy all aspects of the nutritional needs of animals, diet protocols are carefully designed. Kodiak bears are one of the largest land predators in the world, with males weighing up to 680 kg or even more. This size can probably be attained because of the bears’ isolated situation on the KodiakArchipelago and the rich source of fish that makes up a substantial part of their diet.The islands of the archipelago comprise a hugely diverse habitat, including mountains, wet tundras and miles of shoreline, which results in a wide variety of food resources. The climate on the islands is moderate, with mild winters and cool summers. Kodiak bears are rarely kept in zoos or similar institutions, especially not in Europe. This has to do with the policy of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), which does not support this subspecies of bear and does not recommend breeding them. Emmen Zoo maintains three Kodiak bears, but the zoo authorities were not entirely satisfied with the animals’ current situation. They wanted to improve the bears’ diet protocol, reproduction success, seasonal weight fluctuation and hibernation process. Most of the above-mentioned points of interest were recommended for long-term studies. However, this research project began with an analysis of the present circumstances at Emmen Zoo and in other institutions, as well as the Kodiak bear’s in situ situation. The objective of the research project was ‘To formulate the nutritional needs of Kodiak bears to design a new feeding protocol’. With the help of this new protocol, Emmen Zoo hopes to improve the qualityof life for their Kodiak bears.

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OrganisatieVan Hall Larenstein
InstituutDiermanagement
PartnersHogeschool Van Hall Larenstein
Noorder Dierenpark
Gepubliceerd in
Datum2008-06-28
TypeBachelorscriptie
TaalEngels

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