Dietary management of hypercholesterolemia in a bachelor group of zoo-housed Slender-tailed meerkats (Suricata suricatta)
Keywords:hypercholesterolemia, meerkats, nutrition, preventative health
Slender tailed meerkats (Suricata suricatta) are commonly exhibited in zoos across the world. They are primarily insectivores with their wild diet being low in saturated fat and cholesterol. It has been recognised for many years that they are prone to hypercholesteremia and this can lead to meningeal cholesterol granulomas. Cholesterol blood levels have been established in a free-living meerkat population to allow for comparison to captive populations. This article reports the results of blood cholesterol levels in 11 captive male meerkats fed a whole prey diet. It was shown that on this diet all meerkats had hypercholesteremia due to high fat diet being fed. A new diet was introduced, eight months later the same meerkats had their cholesterol levels measured and they all showed a significant reduction. This shows the importance of regular health monitoring and diet review based on clinical findings in captive populations.
How to Cite
JZAR fulfils the DOAJ definition of open access and provides free and open access to the full text of all content without delay under a Creative Commons licence. The copyright holder of JZAR publications grants usage rights to third parties, allowing for immediate free access to the work and permitting any user to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of articles.