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The diet of zoo-housed animals has significant implications to many aspects of each species' health and survival. A recent study revealed the diet of free-ranging Matschie's tree kangaroos (Dendrolagus matschiei) to be mostly browse-focused, including plants like leaves, ferns, and orchids. Prior to those findings, zoo-housed tree kangaroos were fed diets, mostly biscuit-based, that differ vastly from that of free-ranging tree kangaroos possibly contributing to widespread issues within zoos concerning obesity and low reproductive success. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (CMZ) houses two Matschie tree kangaroos which, in 2019, underwent a significant diet change from a more traditional, baseline, biscuit-heavy diet to one that is more leaf or browse-heavy to better reflect that of free-ranging tree kangaroos. Therefore, we are currently investigating how the behavior of zoo-housed tree kangaroos change after this diet shift. Baseline behavioral data was recorded at CMZ from December 2017 to November 2018 on the female tree kangaroo prior to implementing the new diet and behavioral data is currently being collected on the same female as well as the male tree kangaroo housed at CMZ after the new diet. Behavioral observations were made instantaneously at thirty second intervals for a period of twenty minutes using ZooMonitor from video recordings captured with the Annke camera system. Using a G-test, our preliminary results show that the female tree kangaroo's activity budget differed significantly between the baseline and browse-heavy periods (G=446.9 )

Symposium Date

Fall 12-1-2012


marsupials, animal behavior, animals--food



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Behavioral Observations Surrounding a Diet Change of Zoo-Housed Matschie's Tree Kangaroos (Dendrolagus matschiei)

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