looking after animals: health
We can monitor the physical health of an animal by looking out for symptoms of illness or injury. For example, a sick animal may appear unusually tired or may stop eating, or an injured leg may not be walked on. Advances in veterinary science enable quick diagnosis and the provision of appropriate medication. Surgery may also be required if the animal is injured through accident or attack. Preventative medicine is also key to maintaining the physical health of an animal as prevention is better than cure.
Good physical health is also dependant on the food provided. Good food can prevent disease because it will help to boost the immune system (the animals’ natural defence against disease). Good and plentiful food also ensures that the animal does not suffer from nutritional deficiencies.
LOOKING AFTER ANIMALS: FOOD
It is very important to give zoo animals a well-balanced diet which is as
close as possible to what they’d eat in the wild. That's one of the reasons why good zoos ask visitors not to feed the animals. Good zoos also present food in ways that keep the animals active and interested for as long as possible.For marmoset monkeys, for example, live crickets and mealworms are hidden inside logs as an
enrichment technique to promote natural feeding behaviour. Similarly, eggs keep mongooses busy for hours as they try to break them, just as they would in the wild. Feeding activities are all designed to encourage animals to forage and fend for themselves - and promote similar behaviour to that in the wild.
digestive systems: comparison
Research the digestive system of two different organisms explaining the function of various parts. You could compare a horse or rabbit with a fish or chicken. Add diagrams and briefly identify the functions of the main organs in each digestive system.
looking after animals: records
Zoo keepers spend a lot of time each day cleaning enclosures and preparing food, but they also keep a close eye on the animals and maintain daily records - noting when an animal is ready to mate, for example, or is showing signs of being unwell. These observations are essential towards ensuring animals are looked after to the highest standards. Feeding records are kept to ensure that the correct diet is followed. Records are also important to the zoo to ensure that food waste is minimised and so that costs can be monitored.
looking after animals: breeding
Breeding some species, such as lions or alligators, may be relatively straightforward - at least with any babies produced, keepers know who the
father and the mother are.
With other species however - such as groups of fish, frogs or snails - this is much more difficult to work out.Computer software has been developed specifically to figure out who the parents are of certain offspring.Breeding is carefully managed
to control numbers and to prevent inbreeding. Some zoos and aquariums cooperate to ensure that a healthy population of endangered species is maintained. Such zoos manage the breeding so that they breed as many, or as few animals as they need.