• A comparison of strategies for selecting breeding pairs to maximize genetic diversity retention in managed populations

      Ivy, Jamie A.; Lacy, Robert C. (2012)
      Captive breeding programs aim to maintain populations that are demographically self-sustaining and genetically healthy. It has been well documented that the best way for managed breeding programs to retain gene diversity (GD) and limit inbreeding is to select breeding pairs that minimize a population's average kinship....
    • Activation of southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum) estrogen receptors by phytoestrogens: Potential role in the reproductive failure of captive-born females?

      Tubbs, Christopher W.; Hartig, P.; Cardon, M.; Varga, Nicole; Milnes, Matthew R. (2012)
      The captive southern white rhinoceros (SWR; Ceratotherium simum simum) population serves as an important genetic reservoir critical to the conservation of this vulnerable species. Unfortunately, captive populations are declining due to the poor reproductive success of captive-born females....
    • Approaches to management and care of the neonatal nondomestic ruminant

      Wolfe, B.A.; Lamberski, Nadine (2012)
      ...These differences become apparent quickly when the nondomestic neonate requires treatment, and an understanding of the special needs and risks involved can prevent unnecessary problems and losses. The aim of this article is to discuss the unique challenges presented by nondomestic ruminants and approaches to management of neonatal and pediatric cases.
    • Behavioral diversity as a potential indicator of positive animal welfare

      Miller, Lance J.; Vicino, Greg A.; Sheftel, Jessica; Lauderdale, Lisa K. (2020)
      Modern day zoos and aquariums continuously assess the welfare of their animals and use evidence to make informed management decisions. Historically, many of the indicators of animal welfare used to assess the collection are negative indicators of welfare, such as stereotypic behavior. However, a lack of negative indicators of animal welfare does not demonstrate that an individual animal is thriving. There is a need for validated measures of positive animal welfare and there is a growing body of evidence that supports the use of behavioral diversity as a positive indicator of welfare. This includes an inverse relationship with stereotypic behavior as well as fecal glucocorticoid metabolites and is typically higher in situations thought to promote positive welfare. This review article highlights previous research on behavioral diversity as a potential positive indicator of welfare. Details are provided on how to calculate behavioral diversity and how to use it when evaluating animal welfare. Finally, the review will indicate how behavioral diversity can be used to inform an evidence-based management approach to animal care and welfare.
    • Clinical challenge. Renal adenocarcinoma in a spitting cobra

      Belasco-Zeitz, Marianne; Pye, Geoffrey W.; Burns, Rachel E.; Pessier, Allan P. (2013)
      A 16-yr-old, male red spitting cobra (Naja pallida) (weight, 1.9 kg) presented with caudal coelomic swelling…. Blood from a male sibling (weight, 1.35 kg) was collected for comparison purposes and was reported with WBC < 5,000 × 106 cells/μl; uric acid, 6.4 mg/dl; calcium, 14.8 mg/dl; phosphorous, 6.6 mg/dl; total protein, 6.9 g/dl; and globulins, 4.2 g/dl…
    • Does placental invasiveness lead to higher rates of malignant transformation in mammals?Response to: ‘Available data suggests positive relationship between placental invasion an malignancy’

      Boddy, Amy M.; Abegglen, Lisa M.; Aktipis, Athena; Schiffman, Joshua D.; Maley, Carlo C.; Witte, Carmel L. (2020)
      In our study, Lifetime cancer prevalence and life history traits in mammals, we reported the prevalence of neoplasia and malignancy in a select group of mammals housed at San Diego Zoo Global from 1964 to 1978 and 1987 to 2015 [1]. We also used these data to evaluate associations between life history traits and measures of population health. Our analysis showed placental invasiveness could not predict the proportion of animals diagnosed with neoplasia or malignancy. In a response to our article, Drs Wagner and colleagues describe a different calculation to test for a relationship between placental invasiveness and malignancy. They identified and included previously published veterinary neoplasia and malignancy data with our published dataset and suggest a positive relationship between placental invasiveness and development of malignancy (referred to as malignancy rate in Wagner and colleagues’ response). These data provided support for the Evolved Levels of Invasiveness (ELI) hypothesis [2]. We are pleased that other investigators find our data useful, and wholeheartedly agree with Drs Wagner and colleagues in the need to identify more data on cancer in a wide variety of species. Notwithstanding, this updated analysis brings up a number of topics that we would like to address....
    • Effects of combination birth control on estrous behavior in captive western lowland gorillas, Gorilla gorilla gorilla

      Sarfaty, A.; Margulis, S.W.; Atsalis, Sylvia (2012)
      Combination birth control pills (CBC) are one of the most common birth control methods used for western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) housed in zoos. Since zoos are interested in maintaining as many natural behaviors as possible, it is important to know how contraception may affect social and sexual interactions among group members....
    • Immunocontraception of captive exotic species: v. prolonged antibody titers in dall sheep (ovis dalli dalli) and domestic goats (capra hircus) immunized with porcine zona pellucida

      Lyda, Robin O.; Frank, Kimberly M.; Wallace, Roberta; Lamberski, Nadine; Kirkpatrick, Jay F. (2013)
      Native porcine zona pellucida (PZP) immunocontraception has been used to inhibit fertility in more than 80 species of ungulates, although the duration of contraception efficacy varies among species in both Perissodactyla and Artiodactyla. This study examined anti-PZP antibody titers in Dall sheep and domestic goats at the Milwaukee County Zoo, and also Himalayan tahr and Armenian Mouflon sheep at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and, for comparison, Altai wapiti, lowland wisent, Javan banteng, and southern pudu at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, all were given a primer dose and booster dose of PZP....
    • Lifetime cancer prevalence and life history traits in mammals

      Boddy, Amy M.; Abegglen, Lisa M.; Pessier, Allan P.; Schiffman, Joshua D.; Maley, Carlo C.; Witte, Carmel L. (2020)
      Background Cancer is a common diagnosis in many mammalian species, yet they vary in their vulnerability to cancer. The factors driving this variation are unknown, but life history theory offers potential explanations to why cancer defense mechanisms are not equal across species. Methodology Here we report the prevalence of neoplasia and malignancy in 37 mammalian species, representing 11 mammalian orders, using 42 years of well curated necropsy data from the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park. We collected data on life history components of these species and tested for associations between life history traits and both neoplasia and malignancy, while controlling for phylogenetic history. Results These results support Peto’s paradox, in that we find no association between lifespan and/or body mass and the prevalence of neoplasia or malignancy. However, a positive relationship exists between litter size and prevalence of malignancy (P = 0.005, Adj. R2 = 0.212), suggesting that a species’ life history strategy may influence cancer vulnerabilities. Lastly, we tested for the relationship between placental invasiveness and malignancy. We find no evidence for an association between placental depth and malignancy prevalence (P = 0.618, Adj. R2 = 0.068). Conclusions Life history theory offers a powerful framework to understand variation in cancer defenses across the tree of life. These findings provide insight into the relationship between life history traits and cancer vulnerabilities, which suggest a trade-off between reproduction and cancer defenses. Lay summary Why are some mammals more vulnerable to cancer than others? We test whether life history trade-offs may explain this variation in cancer risk. Bigger, longer-lived animals do not develop more cancer compared to smaller, shorter-lived animals. However, we find a positive association between litter size and cancer prevalence in mammals.
    • Lineage identification and genealogical relationships among captive Galápagos tortoises

      Benavides, Edgar; Russello, Michael; Boyer, Donal; Wiese, Robert J.; Kajdacsi, Brittney; Marquez, Lady; Garrick, Ryan; Caccone, Adalgisa (2012)
      Genetic tools have become a critical complement to traditional approaches for meeting short‐ and long‐term goals of ex situ conservation programs. The San Diego Zoo (SDZ) harbors a collection of wild‐born and captive‐born Galápagos giant tortoises (n = 22) of uncertain species designation and unknown genealogical relationships. Here, we used mitochondrial DNA haplotypic data and nuclear microsatellite genotypic data to identify the evolutionary lineage of wild‐born and captive‐born tortoises of unknown ancestry, to infer levels of relatedness among founders and captive‐born tortoises, and assess putative pedigree relationships assigned by the SDZ studbook....
    • Management of neonatal mammals

      Frazier, H. B.; Hawes, Janet; Michelson, K. J. (University of Chicago PressChicago, Illinois, 2013)
      Techniques and philosophies regarding neonatal care of zoo animals continue to evolve. The cornerstone of neonatal care should be reproduction in species- appropriate family groups that meets the physical and behavioral needs of zoo animals and supports healthy and sustainable captive populations. Historically, zoo infant care practices have included removing infants or neonates from their dams for hand-rearing to “tame” them for public programs, to increase reproduction, or to decrease infant mortality caused by parental neglect....
    • Metabolic bone disease in juvenile koalas (phascolartcos cinereus)

      Pye, Geoffrey W.; Gait, Sarah Catherine; Mulot, Baptiste; de Asua, Maria Delclaux Real; Martinez-Nevado, Eva; Bonar, Christopher J.; Baines, Stephen J.; Baines, Elizabeth A. (2013)
      Due to climate restrictions in parts of North America and Europe, koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) are housed indoors. Koala young (joeys) raised indoors are susceptible to the development of metabolic bone disease (MBD) due to a lack of exposure to natural ultraviolet light to themselves and their female paren....
    • Regurgitation and reingestion in bonobos (Pan paniscus): Relationships between abnormal and social behavior

      Miller, Lance J.; Tobey, Jennifer R. (2012)
      Regurgitation and reingestion (R/R) is an abnormal behavior observed in great apes analogous to rumination syndrome in humans….The purpose of the current study was to examine R/R in 14 bonobos (Pan paniscus) at two zoological institutions. This included examining the relationships between R/R and other bonobo behaviors as well as the effect of a change in social groupings on R/R….
    • Serum protein electrophoresis values for free-ranging and zoo-based koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus)

      Pye, Geoffrey W.; Ellis, William A.; FitzGibbon, Sean; Opitz, Brian; Keener, Laura; Arheart, Kristopher L.; Cray, Carolyn (2012)
      In a clinical setting, especially with species of special interest, it is important to use all clinical pathology testing options for general health monitoring and diagnosis. Protein electrophoresis (EPH) has previously been shown to be an important adjunct tool in veterinary medicine. Serum samples from 18 free-ranging and 12 zoo-based koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) were subject to EPH analysis….
    • Sexing of mid-incubation avian embryos as a management tool for zoological breeding programs

      Jensen, Thomas; Mace, Michael E.; Durrant, Barbara S. (2012)
      …The ability to selectively incubate and hatch eggs of a desired sex represents a significant improvement in the long-term management of avian species. This study describes a successful method for in ovo sexing of embryos from stage 30 through 42 of incubation (Hamburger and Hamilton [1951] J Morphol 88:49–92).…
    • Survey of geriatric elephant medical care, nutrition, husbandry, and welfare

      Greene, Whitney; Brenner, Deena J. (2020)
      Improvements in husbandry, veterinary care, and nutrition have led to increased longevity of animals in human care, including elephants. The goal of this study was to collect and synthesize information pertaining to geriatric elephant medicine, management, husbandry, and nutrition…..
    • The one curator - one species challenge

      Wiese, Robert J.; Gray, J.; Dick, G. (2010)
      The One Curator-One Species Challenge is a plan that each zoo and aquarium commits long-term that they will lead the efforts to secure the survival of a number of species equal to the number of animal curators on staff. With this strategy the world’s zoos and aquariums could ensure survival of well over 1,000 species.
    • Validating methods to determine walking rates of elephants within a zoological institution

      Miller, Lance J.; Andrews, J; Anderson, Matthew J. (2012)
      ...The purpose of the current research was to validate methods for examining the walking rates of elephants in a zoological facility. This included testing GPS units, examining walking rates of eight elephants at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park using collars and conducting trials on a subset of elephants wearing both a collar and anklet outfitted with GPS devices to determine reliability....
    • Validation of lactate measurement in american flamingo (phoenicopterus ruber) plasma and correlation with duration and difficulty of capture

      Burgdorf-Moisuk, Anne; Wack, Raymund; Ziccardi, Michael; Larsen, R. Scott; Hopper, Kate (2012)
      Capture myopathy and associated death have been reported with capture and restraint of greater flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber roseus) and lesser flamingos (Phoeniconaias minor)…. The goals of this study were to validate two common methods for measuring lactate (i-STAT® and VetTest® analyzers) in flamingo plasma by comparing measurements to a reference analyzer; and to correlate blood lactate concentration levels in captured flamingos with the duration and difficulty of capture as a possible indicator of capture myopathy…..
    • Visitor reaction to pacing behavior: influence on the perception of animal care and interest in supporting zoological institutions

      Miller, Lance J. (2012)
      Many publications within the field of zoo animal welfare have stated the importance of decreasing stereotypic behavior (e.g., pacing) to help ensure a positive visitor experience. The idea behind these statements is that visitors want to see animals engaged in natural behavior...