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Whether the zoo animals should be fasted?

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Nikola Chavkosk, 24 Feb 2016.

  1. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    According to neuroscience research : Neuroscientist Shows What Fasting Does To Your Brain & Why Big Pharma Won’t Study It | Collective-Evolution intermitent periodical fasting have a numerous positive effects on body (eg. bosting immune system and stimultion of positive behavior)

    I will ask you what do you think, about zoo animals to be intermitently periodically fasted. Eg. carnivores like big cats, hyenas, and canids, to be fed just once-twice weekly, with proper amount of food.

    Or every animal to be subjected to fasting, at least one day weekly? That is natural condition for an animal, especially for carnivorous animal, to be fasted, and their body needs that. Eg. on wednesday, no food for herbivores, on friday, no food for birds after 11:00 am till the next morning? Herbivores in Africa face dry season when the food is scarce. Ok rainforest herbivorous animals always have food available.

    I personaly, when I am fasting sometimes (usually one day weekly), several days after that I feel much better, both physically and psychologically.

    If I could have a zoo, I would do subject animals to intermitent fasting (that depends on the species, will last from 18 hours to 10 days (for snakes for example!)). But of corse will care for the welfare, and/but intermitent fasting can be a part of animal welfare. Physiological condition that body needs.


    ( Batto from Baltic Sea, what do you think? :p

    I will also ask Arizona Docent, as this topic is related to one of his threads about whether the life of zoo animals is too easy? so they are borring and not breeding to their expectations? )

    The question is for all zoochaters, of corse
     
    Last edited: 26 Feb 2016
  2. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    If your fantasy land zoo keeps any anacondas or larger pythons such as Reticulated, you're going to end up with some very fat snakes:p;)

    ~Thylo:cool:
     
  3. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    Can research on humans be used to plan proper animal care? How long a fast is suitable for an elephant? When do any presumed benefits become in fact detriments to the animal's health? Is this fasting to be imposed according to the whims of the keepers or is there any science behind it?
     
  4. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Oh yes you are right :p Lol. :p I ve just mention that provisionary.
     
  5. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Good question, for all zoochaters,

    I personaly don't know, but I suppose fasting for one day every week, for herbivores including elephants would not be detrimental, or fasting at least 5 days for big cats, hyenids and larger canids, or 14-18 hours for birds (or not at all for hummingbirds, honeyeaters etc.), and up to 3 months for large snakes.

    I saw many examples how some animals are in better coat colour (and smoother coat) and general body condition (not obese) in substandard zoos than in rich-modern zoos. Eg. Siberian tigers and hippopotamuses, or orangutans in Thai zoos. I suppose they are subjected to very lower-calories diets and/or short periods of fasting there.
     
    Last edited: 26 Feb 2016
  6. savethelephant

    savethelephant Well-Known Member

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    Yes they are subjected to fasting but I don't think it's intentional!!!
     
  7. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Yes of corse,
     
  8. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    As detailed by the OP elsewhere in this thread, I think his science is limited to "enjoys undergoing a voluntary fast himself" and "likes the look of orangutans and tigers he saw in Asia which had sub-standard diets" :p

    Try up to a year :p

    ....are you seriously saying your source for advocating mandatory fasting of zoo animals is the fact you *liked* the look of animals which you saw being starved in sub-standard Asian collections? :confused:
     
  9. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    No, first of all because that have positive effects on body (at least according to citied research in the first post), and it's the case wich would happen in the wild too. I mentioned those animals, as some prove that fasting or lower calories diets have positive effects.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Feb 2016
  10. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    It's not only testing on my self, but more importantly, the research I have citied in the first post. Ok at least in humans, but humans are animals too...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Feb 2016
  11. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd be very wary of trusting that article - although it does refer to valid research by Mark Mattson on the neurological effects of intermittent fasting, it also cites the *extremely* unreliable and pseudoscientific research of Joseph Mercola, a noted proponent of "alternative medicine" who runs his own business selling products of this nature, and who appears to be a major backer of the website the article is published on.
     
  12. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, everyone should know, and probably knows, that periodical fasting has numerous positive effects on the health; it is not needed a research who will confirm that. Who think that calories-rich diets are healthy? Durring fasting, the older immune cells are spent (and then the immune system boosts), the lipids are faster catabolising, and neurons use also non-glycose sources of energy, like products of lipid catabolism. Who think that obese animal is a healthy animal? I am not talking about starving for food, but periodical fasting.
    Eg. also in respect of lower caloric diets, eg. lower incidence of diabetes, hearth diseases and other health problems in humans in countries who consume a less caloric diet (East Asia, Africa, South America, Eastern Europe...)
     
  13. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    But you are conflating fasting with lower caloric diets. They are not identical.
     
  14. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Yes they are not,

    I meant fasting of particular animal in zoo, for example for one day, to be either completely deprivation of food, or giving just small quantities once daily (and hence lower caloric diet, or just 25% of the calories of that should normaly be) on the fasting day, excluding all food ithems or particular types of, wich depends of the species and it's diet composition. Eg. on fasting day for gorillas for example, no fruits, no vegetables, no nuts, no monkey biscuits, no nothing, but just leaves (browse) in restricted amount (eg. half of the amount wich is given in non-fasting day). Or for large cats, no food (or just small insignificant quantities) for 5 days, and then giving them total amount of what would be given in the fasting days.

    That would also does not mean that animals in substandard or some Thai zoos who are fasted, are fed with the proper, yet restricted diet. Eg. many zoos fed their large cats only with meat, wich is improper diet, as in the diet for carnivores must be inlcuded other minerals and vitamins that meat lacks in (eg. calcium, iodine, vitamin A, taurine, etc.), or giving whole carcases to them, including hairs (as fermentation substrate!), skin, bones, liver, and muscles.

    So if the diet is in lower calories/energy of that should normaly be, that would also be fasting (partial) (in energy). After all, every food ithem (inlcuding fiber in hay) can be converted in energy-calories, so less food of any type, means less calories and means fasting (partial or total).

    And to present some comparasion of incidence of certant diseases related to diet in different parts of the world, eg. East Asia vs. Western world.

    I hope that I answer you correctly,
     
    Last edited: 26 Feb 2016
  15. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    Animals kept in Asian zoos may look different than their counterparts in Europe do to climate, being wild-caught, environment, ect. Them looking different doesn't necessarily have anything to do with diet.

    ~Thylo:cool:
     
  16. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but I wrote just example for orangutans in Thai zoos, but also wrote-meant on animals in substandard zoos, like many in South-Eastern Europe from where I came from. So I saw many examples of how animals here are not obese and are lean, in comparasion to some animals from the same species in other zoos, members of EAZA or AZA if you like
     
  17. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    If you asking me, I think also that:

    Grass-eating Artyodactyla and Perissodactyla in zoos should not be fed with any browse, concentrated feed (as corn meal, soy meal), neither fruits or vegeables, but only with grass (full of beta-carotenes - provitamine A), hay, alfalfa and small amounts of concentrated feed (eg. pellets) just for suplementation of daily salt, iodine, and other lacking minerals and vitamins.

    Browse-eating Artiodactilids and Perissodactilids should not be fed with grass or hay from grass (because their brachydont tooth wear of very fast because of silicates in grass, wich is almost absent from browse and to what they evolved to), but only with browse, some fruit and vegetables (for fruit-eaters), and mineral-vitamin supplements. Also browse is richer in magnesium and calcium.

    Some intermediary grass and browse eaters would be for example Indian rhino.

    Elephants should not be fed with a lot of fruits, or vegetables (this just for enrichment and eventual training), neither with concentrated feeds, but only with grass, hay, alfalfa, browse and branches, and vitamin-mineral supplements.

    Small carnivorous animals, should not be feed with beef or meat from large or larger than their natural pray animals, because in the wilderness they will never could pray upon large pray, whose meat is rich in iron, cholesterol and pyrines/pyrimidines. Eg. no feeding of asiatic golden cats with beef or horse meat, but from animals similar in sizes and biology of their natural pray upon wich they evolved with. Eg. feeding of lions, tigers with beef or horse, but leopards and cheetahs with goat, pork or sheep'' Feeding small cats not with grounded beef, but with rabbit, chcken, mouse etc.

    No feeding of Ramphastidae, arboreal hornbills with red meat or dog food.

    No feeding of Colobinae or every other leaf-eating primate with gluten-containing diets, nor for Caitrichidae.

    Not giving a lot of concentraed food (eg. bread with yeast or monkey biscuits - not a lot, but still yes in small amounts) and fruits to apes, other non-human primates, but mainly browse, vegetables. I would also give them boiled-in water-cocoa (antioxidant and mineral rich-food, but with caution because of theobromine), roasted chicken (once weekly), roasted mealworms, hard-boiled eggs (once weekly), hard cheese (without lactose) (2-3 times weekly), different teas, etc. They should not be obese.

    Animals prone to toxicity from Iron, including many birds and Black rhinoceros, should be given more tanines in their food (as tea water), and should be avoided giving them iron-rich plants, or meat (for birds).

    I will extend this list.
     
    Last edited: 28 Feb 2016
  18. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Actually almost nobody here talk about their knowledge and opinion on whether animals should be fasted or not, whether that is good for their helath and well being or not, but talks about deffinitions, mistakes in the text and expression, etc.

    Please to talk about what do you realy think about fasting of zoo animals? Its benefits and negative sides if any. I hoped here to be included some zookeepers, zoo vets, zoo nutritionists, but it seems that we mostly are just 'chatters' and animal lovers who would love to have a zoo, or who are just observing zoos and have unrelated hobbies like history or whatever :p
     
  19. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    Fasting some species is not new. I can remember that 50 years ago, when feeding times for some species were advertised, zoos often missed one day each week for the lions and tigers: Friday was the fast day at Chester and Wednesday at Regents Park, where they also fasted the eagles and vultures on Wednesday too. I checked this with my oldest London Zoo guidebook, which also reminded me that the reptiles were fed on Fridays.
    I think this is done with a wider range of carnivorous species now, for example Chester feeds their huntings dogs every other day and the Komodo dragons once a month.
    On the other hand some carnivores have very high metabolic rates and need to be fed much more frequently - otters are a good example.
    There may need to be seasonal variations too, especially for species like polar bears which experience considerable seasonal changes in the wild. Obviously a similar regime is required for reptiles that need to hibernate or aestivate. Seasonal changes may affect the quality as well as the quantity of food required in different seasons, such as bird species that eat mainly seeds in the winter or in the dry season but switch to a higher protein, more insectivorous, diet in the breeding season.
    The other general rule of course is that smaller species need to be fed more frequently than their larger relatives - small rodents, shrews, hummingbirds etc need to feed frequently each day.

    Alan
     
  20. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    Many others have already mentioned the shortcomings of your reasoning, Nikola from Mazedonia. Just let me add a few things:

    - Observations of deliberate temporary fasting of zoo/circus animals have already been published long ago-see Carl Hagenbeck's "Beast and men" for an early example. So-nihil novi.
    - Quite a bunch of animals, in particular smaller species can't be fasted due to their high metablism requirements. You should remember this from vet school (anaesthesia of rabbits & small rodents).
    - Please just don't quote textbook statements for hardly any reason.
    - If I were to feed my adult Eastern gaboon viper every 10 days, he would probably end up looking like a bloated sausage, and die of obstipation; not to mention some other reptiles I keep...