News last update:6 Aug 2012

US zoo opens new animal nutrition centre

St. Louis Zoo in Missouri, USA has begun operations in its new Animal Nutrition Center on June 28. This 10,000-square-foot facility offers high-tech capabilities for extensive research in zoo nutrition.

The new facility includes a fully equipped laboratory for visiting and resident scientists to study the links between animal nutrition and a healthy environment, in zoos and in the wild. Researchers will be able to analyze appropriate diets using equipment such as a near-infrared spectrophotometer (for measuring water, protein, fat, minerals and other nutrients), a plant fiber analysis unit, and a high-performance liquid chromatography system (fat soluble vitamins A and E).

The nutrition center is also world headquarters to Zootrition®, a software database that helps zoo and wildlife managers around the globe maintain diet records, compare nutritional content of specific food items and calculate overall composition of diets relative to animal requirements. Zootrition® was developed by Ellen Dierenfeld, Ph.D., the St. Louis Zoo's staff nutritionist.

Related website:
St Louis Zoo

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