[MARMAM] RE: Request to mailing list MARMAM rejected (fwd)

MARMAM Editors marmamed at uvic.ca
Wed Feb 22 16:28:16 PST 2006

***PLEASE REPLY TO corsem at metro.dst.or.us

The Oregon Zoo is examining the diet we offer to our two sea otters. 
We are attempting to lower cost, but continue to provide a balanced diet
that meets their nutrient needs.  We currently offer a  diet which is
approximately 33% fish and squid, 33% clam and mussels, and 33% crab and
shrimp.  The diet is quite costly and we are trying to see if we can meet
their nutrient needs in another way. We are working with a team of zoo
nutrition consultants from the Fort Worth Zoo to help address this concern.
A literature search was done and many aquariums that house sea otters were
contacted as part of this consultation. A nutritionally complete diet was
proposed which consists of 45% fish and squid, 30% clam and mussels, 20%
crab and shrimp, and 5% a red-meat based diet. 
This diet was proposed primarily to lower cost.  No information was found in
the literature or via consultation with other zoos and aquariums that
roughage is needed in the diet.  However, it seems to be thought of as
"industry standard" that roughage needs to be included in the diet of
captive sea otters.  The question we are posing now  is "is roughage need
and if so how much?"  We are concerned that this diet might be too low in
roughage for these animals.  Does anyone have any thoughts on this OR any
ideas for cost effective diets for sea otters. 

Michelle Corse, Nutrition Technician
Oregon Zoo
email: corsem at metro.dst.or.us 
phone: 503-220-5741

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