Energy again help rhinos
After successfully regenerating the rhinos intoxicated with iron several years ago, Energy Group again returned to the ZOO in Dvur Kralove. Within a short period of time many animals have been treated with Energy products. Among these animals one can find cheetah, gorillas, orangutans, lion, leopard, and many others. Energy products have very good reputation at the aforementioned ZOO; therefore it has been decided to entrust one of the rarest animal in this ZOO – black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) to our care.
Almost every zoo in the world faces one big problem when breeding black rhinoceros. Unlike white rhino (Ceratotherium simum) black rhino crops on shrubs and leaves containing high volume of tannins. Tannin binds to iron in food and thus prevents its excessive utilization in the animal body. Unfortunately no zoo is able to ensure sufficient supply of leaves and twigs. The lack of this type of feed manifests itself in the loss of animal weight. In the course of time this weight loss can lead to the death of the animal.
Cytosan can help to remove an excess element. It was administered to six rhinos together with King Kong. However, due to technical reasons it was impossible to weigh the animals. Therefore the nutritional status of the animals was evaluated only subjectively and it showed positive results. In most cases the nutritional status improved and there was no case of deterioration. Later weighing of the animals after the treatment only confirmed the results of the subjective evaluation. The most important endeavor was an experiment, in the course of which was daily measured the volume of iron in the dung of the animal to which Cytosan was administered (female rhino Jane Lee). The results were compared with the measurements taken from the dung of the control animal (female rhino Elba) which was fed the same feed but without Cytosan. The overall results definitely confirmed our assumption. Immediately after the start of the administration of Cytosan (10 g per an animal twice a day) the volume of iron in the dung increased. After two weeks the volume started decrease. This decrease continued for two weeks after the end of the treatment. Each new period of this treatment only confirmed the aforementioned trend. After the second treatment the volume of iron in the dung corresponded to the young, iron-free animals.
Based on these results the ZOO management has decided to administer Cytosan to all 18 rhinos and to make efforts to increase the weight of animals, which are not in optimum shape, with help of Gynex (optimizing thus metabolism of fats). The mutual cooperation will continue also in care for any other species of animals as needed.
If these regeneration methods prove successful, then the ZOO employees will present them at the international conferences of the zoological gardens. In the future this form of preventive treatment of black rhinos can be adopted by other zoos in the world.
MVDr. Lubomír Chmelař, Ph.D.