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Gorilla diets in zoos: Aframomum melegueta

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Nikola Chavkosk, 9 Jun 2016.

  1. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    The main purpose of this thread is to learn from any zoochatter, whether there is any zoo in the world giving their gorillas Aframomum melegueta (''Paradise grape'') a plant with seeds, who originate from equatorial Africa, and that seems that is protective for cadriovascular system in gorillas, or generally in apes, particularly for male gorillas (male apes). Most logic answer would be because this plant seeds are high on particular antioxidant.

    I think it is worth importing seeds/leaves (or growing this plant in a zoo) from this plant and giving it to gorillas, so unvaluable zoo animals.


    Aside from a ''typical zoo diet'' for gorillas wich includes mainly leafy vegetables, browse (ficus,.. ?), other non-leafy vegetables, fruits (particularly high on vitamin C like citrus fruits or pineapple), nuts, monkey biscuit, vitamin-mineral supplement, boiled eggs, mealworms?, surely zoos include more specific food ithems like different tea, roasted chicken, or cocoa (high on antioxidant), and why not include also seeds/leaves from Aframomum melegueta?

    If I ever work with apes, I would troughly wash leafy vegetables and fruits with soapy detergent (for dishies) to remove harmfull bacteria, viruses (like hepatitis A virus from eventual infected fruit picker like from imported tropic fruits), and even to remove tapeworm eggs (like from lettuce for example) (not absent from zoos, and I know at least one case of echinococcosis in gorillas in Basel zoo I think, I read that).
    I would also give to apes powdered cocoa boiled in water (twice weekly) (with sugar), and would roast mealworms for them (not giving them raw mealworms).

    But to return to main purpose to this thread, about is there any zoo in the world giving Aframomum melegueta to their gorillas? :)
     
    Last edited: 9 Jun 2016
  2. CGSwans

    CGSwans Well-Known Member

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    Roasted chicken? Most gorillas prefer steak, medium rare.
     
  3. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    The Denver Zoo (USA) grows Aframomum for its gorillas. In fact I am moderating a session at this year's AZA conference with a speaker on this very topic. We have another speaker on Aframomum at this year's AZH conference.

    A number of North American zoos have been working on growing the plant for their gorillas.... some successfully and some not. The San Diego Zoo tried, without success, for ten years.
     
  4. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Thank you a lot, I really didn't expect that there is any zoo world-wide involved with providin this plant to their gorillas. I any case, this is just another sign of advancing care of captive gorillas.
     
  5. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Yeah steak (from chicken breast) or chicken, almost the same. I don't know what is more frequently given; the chicken meat is low on cholesterol and purines/pyrimidines (as red meat), and high on proteins (esential amino-acids) thus it's involvement in the diet.

    If you mean steak instead of whole chicken (because of the bones), you are totaly right, bones should be avoided.

    Roasted, first of all to kill any potentially harmfull bacteria that can be present in raw (chicken) meat, like Salmonela or Campylobacter.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jun 2016
  6. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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  7. Al

    Al Well-Known Member

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    Rotterdam zoo also were growing it in their off show green houses for their gorilla, a fascinating idea!
     
  8. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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  9. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    It really is fascinating, Al. Zoos should become super-zoos in the following years.
     
  10. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    I remember seeing the gorillas at Bristol given meat 45 years ago - just after they had bred for the first time. I suspect that it may have been horsemeat rather than beef, but it was certainly well done ;)

    As a indication of how things have changed, this is the graphic on the wall of Bristol's gorilla house now (Jock is their silverback).
    [​IMG]

    Alan
     
  11. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I think historically, in the days when Gorilla wild diet wasn't known, meat was also fed in quantity along with other highly unnatural foods, to a number of the earlier and relatively short-lived Gorillas in Zoos.

    In modern times, smaller amount of meat was also fed to the parents of the firstborn captive Gorillas in Columbus USA. At the time their success was partially ascribed to this but that might not really be true.

    The previous pair of Gorillas at Bristol, Congo & Josephine, never had meat in their diet(I don't know about Alfred). I suspect providing it in the early seventies may have been something of a 'fad'( fads were common at Bristol then...) and it probably did not last too long.
     
  12. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I've heard about the African ginger plant protecting male Gorillas from Heart disease before. Is there yet any conclusive evidence that this is so? It would be a big breakthrough in reducing male Gorilla deaths.
     
  13. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    There is a consortium working on it
    https://greatapeheartproject.org/about/
     
  14. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    Hey, I remember these folks! First (and so far only) workshop I had to strip to participate in. :D (not for any lewd reasons, if I might add...)