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Ask Adrienne: Nutritionist monitors aggressive behavior and weight loss

Question from a Wildlife Nutritionist:

We have three female red pandas housed together. Recently two of them have lost weight. I have increased the caloric intake for the two and the vets have given them a clean bill of health. When I talked with their keepers it was mentioned that the older panda had recently exhibited an increase in aggression towards the other two.

How can I quickly compare the aggression in the one with the weight loss of the two?

Answer:

ZIMS for Husbandry enables care teams to monitor the weight of individual animals and groups over time.

The Animal Graphing Tool can help! The Tool allows you to graph multiple records for multiple animals!

Species360 member zoos and aquariums track Atypical Aggression Behaviors using the Animal Care and Welfare feature in ZIMS for Husbandry.

First, you can run the Tool for the three pandas and select Animal Weights (sourced from the weight grid in the animal records) and Atypical Aggression Behaviors (sourced from the Care and Welfare module).

You can quickly see that the weight loss started soon after the aggression began. It will take more than a diet change to correct this situation!

The Animal Graphing Tool allows you to compare multiple measurements on one animal, one measurement on multiple animals and multiple measurements on multiple animals. Some examples are:

  • Does the animal Weight relate to the Environmental Measurement?
  • Are your two orphaned otters consuming the same amount of formula and gaining weight at the same rate?
  • How does stereotypic behavior compare in your three bear exhibits?
Red Panda or Lesser panda (Ailurus fulgens) gnawing bamboo leaves.

For additional information see the Animal Graphing Tool in Husbandry Tools. You can also read more about Animal Graphing in our earlier blog post here.

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