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1 June 2018 MORTALITY IN COQUEREL'S SIFAKAS (PROPITHECUS COQUERELI) UNDER HUMAN CARE: A RETROSPECTIVE SURVEY FROM THE DUKE LEMUR CENTER 1990–2015
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Abstract

Coquerel's sifakas (Propithecus coquereli) are diurnal, folivorous lemurs native to Madagascar and one of only two members of the genus Propithecus currently housed in human care settings outside of Madagascar. This species has a lifespan of approximately 30 yr but minimal information exists regarding morbidity and mortality in human care settings. In this retrospective study, medical records, postmortem exam, and autopsy reports from 56 animals housed at the Duke Lemur Center from 1990 to 2015 were evaluated. Mortality assessments included age, sex, time of year, histopathological findings, major organ system impacted, and etiological factors. Mortality was most prevalent among adults greater than 2 yr of age (42.9%) and neonates less than 7 days of age (30.4%). The top four morphological diagnoses accounted for 51.7% of all deaths and included stillbirths (19.6%), enteritis-colitis (12.5%), failure to thrive (10.7%), and systemic protozoal infections (8.9%). The two most commonly affected organ systems in animals over 7 days of age were multisystem disease (30.8%) and the gastrointestinal system (28.2%). Infections were the most common etiology with bacterial being the most prevalent followed by protozoal infections. The results provide insight into common causes of mortality of this species and can be used to guide management of this endangered primate and improve longevity in human care settings.

Copyright 2018 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Katherine Cassady, John M. Cullen, and Cathy V. Williams "MORTALITY IN COQUEREL'S SIFAKAS (PROPITHECUS COQUERELI) UNDER HUMAN CARE: A RETROSPECTIVE SURVEY FROM THE DUKE LEMUR CENTER 1990–2015," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 49(2), (1 June 2018). https://doi.org/10.1638/2017-0242.1
Accepted: 21 January 2018; Published: 1 June 2018
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