By Marlene Bezuidenhout

Mealworms are a good source of protein and they contain twelve of the sixteen elements found in living tissue. They are rich in vitamin A which is essential for growth and rich in vitamin B which is necessary for maintaining the nervous system. The better you feed your mealworms the higher quality food you produce for your monkeys. (more…)

Arabic Gum for Gum Feeders

Marmosets and Bushbabies are known to be gum feeders. With their sharp teeth they gnaw holes in trees to get the gum. In the wild they spend 1/3 of their time doing this.  Besides the fact that “it will keep them busy for a while”, it’s also a source of energy, calcium and other minerals. It is known that also other species like squirrels or tamarins like arabic gum.

You can buy arabic gum at sites that sell backery products.

Mix one part of powder with two parts of water. After two to three hours it’s ready for distribution. Drill some holes into wood (like branches or bamboo) and fill them with this prepared gum.

5 Recipes with Arabic Gum from a big breeder :

  • 30% gum + 70% water
  • 10% banana + 20% gum + 70% water
  • 30% gum + 70% fruit juice
  • take baby food “canned” (poultry – apple) + dry gumi ( =pasta)
  • cut fruit in cubes and put dry gum (like sugar) on it

By Tracy Williams

The lemur species that I care for are Ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), Black lemurs (Eulemur macaco macaco), and Black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata).  We have discovered hemosiderosis in all of them, some much more affected than others. (Ringtailed lemurs don’t seem to have as much of a problem with this disease as other lemur species.)

I am not a veterinarian, but I will try to explain the disease to you as our zoo vets did to me.  Most captive lemur diets contain alot more iron than what a wild lemur would consume in it’s natural habitat.  The iron leaves their blood circulation and is stored in their organs (particularly the liver), where it stays permanently.  Here it can cause severe tissue damage, over time.  There is no way to get rid of the iron that is “stored” in their tissues once it is there.

Wild lemurs’ diets contain alot of tannin.  Tannin helps their bodies prevent the iron storage.  On the other hand, vitamin C promotes the iron storage.  (more…)

By Dr. Hannah Buchanan-Smith

The author discusses the three main criteria which constitute a good captive environment.  They are: good physical health, breeding success, and an animal’s ability to acquire and retain behavioral skills needed to cope successfully with his or her natural environment. Through her field studies, the author has learned that a variety in diet, innovative foraging devices, indoor/outdoor enclosures, natural settings, and a comfortable social environment are vital for the well-being of captive primates. She illustrates how altering conditions can promote natural behaviors in captive marmosets and tamarins. (more…)

By Ivan Crab

During recent years, the feeding of PRIMATES has undergone significant changes, as more has been discovered about their nutritional needs.   The pets market of today provide different “monkey pellets” , pelleted diets they are usually well balanced but they can not by given at the expense of a varied diet.

It is no coincidence that when breeding began in earnest during the 1950s, it was the OLD WORLD species which reproduced most successfully in collections. This is because MONKEYS such as the MACACA species were best-suited to thrive and breed on a diet composed of little more than vegetables and fruits.

The needs of other species are more complex. Certainly in captivity they thrive when offered a diet which contains a relatively high proportion of vegetables and fruit. (more…)