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1 April 2002 FAT SOLUBLE VITAMINS IN BLOOD AND TISSUES OF FREE-RANGING AND CAPTIVE RHINOCEROS
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Abstract

Several disease syndromes in captive rhinoceroses have been linked to low vitamin status. Blood samples from captive and free-ranging black (Diceros bicornis) and white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) and tissue samples of captive individuals from four rhinoceros species were analysed for vitamins A and E. Circulating vitamin A levels measured as retinol for free-ranging versus captive black and white rhinoceros were 0.04 (±0.03 SD) vs. 0.08 (±0.08) and 0.07 (±0.04) vs. 0.06 (±0.02) μg/ml, respectively. Circulating vitamin E levels measured as α-tocopherol were 0.58 (±0.30) vs. 0.84 (±0.96) and 0.62 (±0.48) vs. 0.77 (±0.32) μg/ml, respectively. In contrast to earlier findings, there was no significant difference in vitamin E concentration between captive and free-ranging black rhinoceros. When the samples of captive black rhinoceros were grouped into those taken before 1990 and after 1990, however, those collected before 1990 had significantly lower (P < 0.001) vitamin E levels (0.46 ± 0.83 μg/ml) and those collected in 1990 or later significantly higher (P < 0.001) vitamin E levels (1.03 ± 1.04 μg/ml) than the captive population as a whole. This is probably due to increased dietary supplementation. There were significant differences in circulating vitamin concentrations in black rhinoceroses from different regions in the wild. Serum 25-hydroxy (OH) vitamin D3 averaged 55.7 ng/ml in free-ranging rhinoceroses; no carotenoids were detected in any blood samples. Captive black and white rhinoceroses appear to be adequately supplemented in vitamin A and E. Captive Indian rhinoceroses (Rhinoceros unicornis) had significantly lower vitamin A concentrations in blood (P < 0.001) and higher vitamin A concentrations in liver tissue samples (P < 0.001) than other rhinoceros species. Equine requirements are not recommended as a model for rhinoceros vitamin requirements.

Clauss, Jessup, Norkus, Chen, Holick, Streich, and Dierenfeld: FAT SOLUBLE VITAMINS IN BLOOD AND TISSUES OF FREE-RANGING AND CAPTIVE RHINOCEROS
Marcus Clauss, David A. Jessup, Edward B. Norkus, Tai C. Chen, Michael F. Holick, W. Juergen Streich, and Ellen S. Dierenfeld "FAT SOLUBLE VITAMINS IN BLOOD AND TISSUES OF FREE-RANGING AND CAPTIVE RHINOCEROS," Journal of Wildlife Diseases 38(2), 402-413, (1 April 2002). https://doi.org/10.7589/0090-3558-38.2.402
Received: 16 January 2001; Published: 1 April 2002
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