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Aardwolf

Anteaters, Armadillos, Aardvarks, Tenrec, Aardwolf, ect

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Ash
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Aardwolf

Postby Ash » Sat May 04, 2013 10:49 pm

I think I'm going to do it. I was planning on getting a pair of fennecs this summer, but I think I'm going to go straight for an aardwolf instead. I'll apply for a variance as soon as the house is nearing completion on the property (parents' future retirement property) and I'll hopefully have the enclosure built by then--so sometime in August if things go according to plan.

I'm wanting to do a 32X48 ft enclosure for it with ten foot fencing. I'll plant lots of bushes in there so that it will feel very secure and also put in some sandboxes for it to dig in since they're natural diggers. I'll try to get some big rocks too, though I'm not sure how I would transport them to the site. I think a heated shed with a nice denbox with straw would be good too.

I'll only be getting one aardwolf to start off with. I'll get a female, so that by the time I get a male she'll hopefully be very acclimated and not stressed out and maybe more willing to allow the male to mate her.

I'll probably try to get her through Ken. That way I can be sure that the importation is done correctly, and later I can try to import a male myself. I've found several facilities in Africa that specialize in wild-caughts.

I'm so excited though. This weekend I'm going to write out my spiel to the Utah DNR and post it here so you guys can help me out with it. ;)
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Re: Aardwolf

Postby Juska » Sun May 05, 2013 9:54 am

Good luck! :D
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Re: Aardwolf

Postby Nicophorus » Sun May 05, 2013 11:10 am

If that's the animal you have your mind set on, do it. Just build the very best enclosure you can with lots of enrichment (lol not the live animal kind..... u know what I mean).
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Re: Aardwolf

Postby Ash » Sun May 05, 2013 1:26 pm

Thank-you. I will post updates as I get things done.
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Re: Aardwolf

Postby Ash » Tue May 07, 2013 4:32 pm

Okay, so here's the start of my draft:

Purpose and Intent: To breed aardwolves for commercial purposes to sell to licensed individuals and properly-licensed educational facilities.

Caging: 32X48 ft primary enclosure, 6 gauge wire fencing, 10 ft high, and 5 ft digging guards extending horizontally into the enclosure. Heated shed with insulated den box. Secondary enclosure is a 6 ft fence surrounding the property.
Aardwolves do not jump high nor climb, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) suggests in their care guidelines that a 6 foot fence will suffice (Standardized Animal Care Guidelines for Hyaenas and Aardwolves. 2006).

Dietary Needs: ...(still trying to figure out the best thing; I'll be calling several zoos and see if they're willing to give me their diet)

Health & Safety: Animal will be properly quarantined prior to being shipped from Africa to the United States and converted to a captive diet. Once in my care it shall be vaccinated against canine distemper, feline parvovirus, and rabies.
Secondary fencing will prevent the public from having contact with the animal.
In the event the animal escapes, the Utah Department of Natural Resources will be notified, as will local animal control. Any cost or expenses paid to recapture the animal will be paid in full by myself.


Anything else you think I should cover aside from what I've got listed?
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Re: Aardwolf

Postby lochjessmonster » Tue May 07, 2013 5:20 pm

So exciting! The best of luck to you and you absolutely have to post updates, because I'm crazy curious about what an aardwolf is like in captivity and what your enclosure is going to look like! I can't even describe how excited I am to learn more about them and hear about your experience.
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Re: Aardwolf

Postby Ash » Tue May 07, 2013 5:44 pm

Thank-you! I will try to post updates as I go along.
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Re: Aardwolf

Postby veralidaine » Mon May 20, 2013 12:51 am

Well, in terms of diet, it's good to look at what the aardwolf eats in the wild; termites. It could probably be persuaded to eat other insects though, if you couldn't get a hold of termites (I could email you a 2011 study that found remains of sun spiders and scorpions in aardwolf scat if you would like). Typically, insects are low in calcium so crushing some snail shells or sprinkling some calcium powder would be helpful. Something interesting to note (from http://www.hyaenidae.org/the-hyaenidae/ ... aging.html) says that aardwolves will lick up termites from the soil, up to 300,000 a day. This means that they are getting some soil with each mouthful, which could be delivering minerals that can't be gotten from the termites.

In my wildlife nutrition class, we had a final project which involved formulating either a fact sheet, blog, or app (our choice) that would inform zoo staff on how to feed a certain species, including information on their digestive system, energy requirements, diet in the wild etc. My species was the arctic fox but I did a search and found a blog for the aardwolf that was done by another student. Here it is; http://wren.aps.uoguelph.ca/apsblog/cmcdonal/

Best of luck. If you want me to email you some scientific papers on the aardwolf's diet, don't hesitate to ask. I still have access to the university's database of scientific papers until December.
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Re: Aardwolf

Postby Ash » Mon May 20, 2013 7:42 am

Thank-you! I really appreciate it a lot. That would be great if you found some articles. I've looked at my university's database, and I didn't find much on aardwolves. Though a more thorough search would probably yield better results.

They eat a very specific type of termite. So I was trying to find the nutritional content for that type of termite, but I couldn't find anything about it (not online, at least). Though probably there isn't much difference between termite species nutritionally. I'm planning to call/email some zoos when it's a bit closer, and see what they feed, if they're willing to talk to me. I'll definitely check that link out though!

I'm planning on giving them live bugs (morio worms, crickets, cockroaches) as a staple in their diet, as well as for enrichment. I read that they'll sometimes eat eggs and small mammals, so I'll be providing that as well. The egg shell should be good for them.

Thanks so much!
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Re: Aardwolf

Postby Ash » Mon May 20, 2013 7:46 am

I just checked out the link. That was very helpful! I'm also going to check out the sources your friend used.
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Re: Aardwolf

Postby Lasergrl » Mon May 20, 2013 12:44 pm

The Cleveland zoo feeds their insectivores a mix of cruched cat and monkey feed. I would probably feed that along with a tweeked version of Puas diet.
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Re: Aardwolf

Postby TamanduaGirl » Mon May 20, 2013 1:31 pm

There is your old topic to revisit
viewtopic.php?f=65&t=7576

Cat mixed with leafeater(monkey) is a typical zoo diet for tamandua and anteaters as well. I'd never advise it unless they wont eat anything else then I'd try weaning them onto something better. There is no retinol in most termite species and only trace amounts in those few species that do have it. Cat food is loaded with tons of retinol because cats can't produce their own. Too much retinol causes lots of serious problems down the line.

As mentioned insects contain very little calcium soft bodied insects like termites contain the least. Why feed extra calcium to a species that naturally gets very little. Too much calcium can cause problem just like to little can. Your insects will already ave more calcium than the aardwolf would get in the wild. For example if you have a poorly fed cricket who was not gut fed it will be fairly close to calcium level if ants(termites have less calcium). Gut fed it will have far too much calcium compared to ants and termites.

Try looking through google scholar. You can take that info like analysis of stomach contents to make a good diet. You really can't trust zoos to be feeding them well.
http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=aar ... sdt=0%2C38
http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=aar ... sdt=0%2C38
http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=aar ... sdt=0%2C38

Also try looking for the nutritional content of the termite species there if it doesn't come up with those specific terms try tweeking it, african termites, or species nutritional analysis, species calcium levels, etc.
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Re: Aardwolf

Postby veralidaine » Mon May 20, 2013 1:49 pm

I just remember that in my class, we talked about the fact that insects don't have enough calcium but that just meant that the insectivores had to find another source because they still need a good amount of calcium, ESPECIALLY babies. Often babies have a much less specialised diet than adults because of their higher nutrient needs. I also mentioned snail shells because that is something found in the wild that animals that don't get enough calcium from their main prey source, will eat or feed to their offspring. Tree saps also have a good amount of calcium so insectivores that eat insects from trees will often get a mouthful of tree sap which will fulfill their calcium needs. This is why it's important to recognise that when aardwolves lick up termites and get a mouthful of soil, they're getting certain minerals from the soil that they aren't getting from the termites, and that's fulfilling some of their nutrient needs.
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Re: Aardwolf

Postby TamanduaGirl » Mon May 20, 2013 2:50 pm

Most soil minerals aren't actually in a form the body can process and will pass right through. You also can't judge all insectivores the same. Just because a hedgehog eats snails and so needs calcium doesn't mean other insectivores do. And if something does eat a snail shell does it digest or do you find shell int he poop? If it passes through the animal got no minerals from it.

Species that rely on only termites and ants can not be judged the same as other insectivores. Heck you can't even judge anteaters the same. Giant anteaters will sometimes eat eggs in the wild though they would rarely find them but that being so they are less prone to the spinal problems cause by too much retinol. Tamandua will not naturally eat eggs in the wild and just a month on a diet high in retinol produces spinal changes.

But back to calcium. Tamandua(since this is what I know) need very very little calcium. A study on their wild stomach contents showed a cal/phos ratio about the opposite of what you'd expect based on commonly kept species. 0.11% Ca, 0.41% Phosphorus So a 1:4 ratio cal/phos There was another study done on captive tamandua that showed too much calcium was a problem.

Tamandua have been observed eating fruit and rarely seen at wild salt licks as well but they really don't get much extra anything as these events are extra rare. I would give a little extra to pregnant and nursing females but that's about it. The young suckle through almost all of their growing phase so no need to suppliment.

I'm not saying to feed the aardvarks exactly the same as tamandua though I imagine if I had one I would feed it very similarly but they do have teeth so capable of eating a bit more variety but I would want to look into what they have actually been found to eat in the wild.

Each species has their own cal;phos ratio and retinol needs, plus other dietary needs. It's old school thinking that you can just throw a bunch of extra vitamins and minerals, especial Ca at any species to fix any gaps in a diet. The reality is you are likely to cause more imbalance issues instead.

I'm just saying to do research and come up with what you feel is the right diet for your species and not to rely on zoos as anything you come up with will likely be much better and have had more thought and research put into it than any zoo. It doesn't hurt to ask however and compare any info you get from zoos. All info helps even if it's just finding out the zoos are feeding badly. You might be able to see which ones have the best success at raising them and compare diets as a bit of a start.
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Re: Aardwolf

Postby Ash » Wed May 22, 2013 3:38 pm

Thank-you for all of the replies, everyone. I really appreciate it a lot.

I've been very worried about the diet, and I'm trying hard to come up with the best diet for them (though lately I've been busy and haven't been able to put much thought into it). I know that a lot of zoos just feed the Mazuri diet, but like was mentioned in the other thread that can't be the best for them since different species of insectivores require different things nutritionally.

I'm really intimidated by all the percentages and such, but everyone's words have been so very helpful. This weekend I'm really going to sit down and try to come up with a preliminary diet that I can then change and tweak over the next few months. I'll post this so that I can get everybody's input.

TG--So you think the bugs I mentioned will have too much calcium and that ants and termites would be better? I know you order ants for your anteaters. Where do you get them from? Does the place happen to sell termites too?

Thanks for everyone's advice.
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