Zoos are an ex-situ form of conservation were animals are breed in confined areas for recreational exhibition, educational or research and conservation purposes. Parasites and infectious diseases have become a major concern in conservation of endangered species as they can lead to mortality, dramatic population declines and even contribute to local extinction events. Some studies have showed that gastrointestinal parasites of wild animals in captivity included zoonotic species and rise public health concerns. According to Italian law (D.Lgs 73/2005), zoos housing domestic, wild and exotic animals are required to address both animal health and welfare. The last two words are suggestive for parasites control mainly in a more extensive space where many animals of different species share the same environment as in safari park. The study was carried out to know the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites of captive animals at Zoo Safari Ravenna in the Emilia-Romagna region. Fecal samples were collected in the biennium 2014/2016. The first year were recovered 94 samples, the second one 99. The seemingly low number of samples is due to the difficulties of getting the fecal material by a well known individual subject. In fact, we considered of little interest to analyze a fecal pool, much easier to get but poorly indicative; in this safari park many animals are not confined to a specific area but are free to move throughout the park area. The totality of fecal samples were screened using classical qualitative and quantitative analyzes. The species were grouped by theriological affinity in 3 groups: poligastric (18 species) and monogastric (4 species) herbivores and carnivores (2 species). In the first year, out of 94 fecal samples examined, 70 were positive for parasitic eggs/oocysts of different species indicating an overall prevalence of 74.5%, of which 4/17 carnivores 23.5%, 54/59 (91.5%) poligastric and 12/18 (66.6%) monogastric herbivores. The second year, out of 99 samples 56 were positive with a prevalence of 56.6% for gastrointestinal parasites, 6/16 (37.5%) among carnivores, 40/65 (61.5%) ruminants and finally 10/18 (55.5%) monogastric herbivores. Parasites recovered were: coccidia; Toxascaris leonina and Parascaris equorum; gastrointestinal strongyles and Nematodirus spp.; Capillaria spp. and Trichuris spp. McMaster examination showed an aggregate distribution (high proportion of parasite is concentrated in a few host individuals) of parasitic fauna inside the area. The Chi-square test revealed a significant difference (χ2=6.05; P<0.05) between the overall prevalence of two considered periods. We like to think that this result may be due to our surveillance activities. This experience fit into poorly investigated context. If a significance of our challenge must be find, this is the continuous involvement of veterinarians that laid the foundations for a more strictly collaboration between Zoos and University. Proves it the publication of a scientific paper [1] and an amazing skeleton that now enriches the "Department of Veterinary Medical Science Anatomy Museum", realized with a dead wallaby.

Collaborating with a zoo-safari: a parasitological challenge

Poglayen G.;Morandi B.;Florio D.;
2017

Abstract

Zoos are an ex-situ form of conservation were animals are breed in confined areas for recreational exhibition, educational or research and conservation purposes. Parasites and infectious diseases have become a major concern in conservation of endangered species as they can lead to mortality, dramatic population declines and even contribute to local extinction events. Some studies have showed that gastrointestinal parasites of wild animals in captivity included zoonotic species and rise public health concerns. According to Italian law (D.Lgs 73/2005), zoos housing domestic, wild and exotic animals are required to address both animal health and welfare. The last two words are suggestive for parasites control mainly in a more extensive space where many animals of different species share the same environment as in safari park. The study was carried out to know the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites of captive animals at Zoo Safari Ravenna in the Emilia-Romagna region. Fecal samples were collected in the biennium 2014/2016. The first year were recovered 94 samples, the second one 99. The seemingly low number of samples is due to the difficulties of getting the fecal material by a well known individual subject. In fact, we considered of little interest to analyze a fecal pool, much easier to get but poorly indicative; in this safari park many animals are not confined to a specific area but are free to move throughout the park area. The totality of fecal samples were screened using classical qualitative and quantitative analyzes. The species were grouped by theriological affinity in 3 groups: poligastric (18 species) and monogastric (4 species) herbivores and carnivores (2 species). In the first year, out of 94 fecal samples examined, 70 were positive for parasitic eggs/oocysts of different species indicating an overall prevalence of 74.5%, of which 4/17 carnivores 23.5%, 54/59 (91.5%) poligastric and 12/18 (66.6%) monogastric herbivores. The second year, out of 99 samples 56 were positive with a prevalence of 56.6% for gastrointestinal parasites, 6/16 (37.5%) among carnivores, 40/65 (61.5%) ruminants and finally 10/18 (55.5%) monogastric herbivores. Parasites recovered were: coccidia; Toxascaris leonina and Parascaris equorum; gastrointestinal strongyles and Nematodirus spp.; Capillaria spp. and Trichuris spp. McMaster examination showed an aggregate distribution (high proportion of parasite is concentrated in a few host individuals) of parasitic fauna inside the area. The Chi-square test revealed a significant difference (χ2=6.05; P<0.05) between the overall prevalence of two considered periods. We like to think that this result may be due to our surveillance activities. This experience fit into poorly investigated context. If a significance of our challenge must be find, this is the continuous involvement of veterinarians that laid the foundations for a more strictly collaboration between Zoos and University. Proves it the publication of a scientific paper [1] and an amazing skeleton that now enriches the "Department of Veterinary Medical Science Anatomy Museum", realized with a dead wallaby.
71° Convegno SISVET
324
324
Poglayen G., Morandi B., Florio D., Calì F., Nanni M.V., Laguardia D., Galliani M., Cotignoli C.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/627808
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