Abstract # 2845 Event # 29:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 17, 2010 03:45 PM-04:15 PM: Session 10 (Mezzanine Ballroom A/B/C/D) Oral Presentation


K. Ange-van Heugten1, M. W. Verstegen2, P. R. Ferket3 and E. van Heugten1
1Department of Animal Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-7621, USA, 2Animal Nutrition Group, Wageningen University, The Netherlands, 3Department of Poultry Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27695-7608, USA

Woolly monkeys (Lagothrix lagotricha) are endangered and difficult to maintain in captivity. It has been hypothesized that numerous health complications in captive woolly monkeys (WM) are of nutritional origin. Thus, we examined the historical health status and survival rates in captive WM and investigated the effects of dietary composition on serum chemistry and cortisol concentrations. The numbers of captive WM have decreased by 11% in the past 16 years and the birth to death ratio was 0.65 compared to 1.26 for their close relative the spider monkey (SM) (Ateles sp.). Serum chemistry from 30 WM housed at two zoos was similar to reported concentrations for howler (Alouatta sp.) and SM. The exception was serum glucose which in WM was elevated compared to humans and SM. However, we found that fasting glucose, insulin, fructosamine, glycated hemoglobin, lipids and urinary glucose were normal in six WM with known hypertension. Incorrect diets can contribute to poor success in captive primates. Interestingly, fecal and salivary cortisol concentrations in WM and SM, at multiple zoos showed that institutions with the highest dietary total carbohydrates, total sugars, glucose and fruit had the highest cortisol. Supplementation of WM and SM diets with inulin-type fructans decreased fecal cortisol after 4 weeks, primarily in SM. The lifespan and captive success of WM may improve if dietary nutrients are optimized and cortisol concentrations are reduced.