Hand-rearing serval Felis serval at Mole Hall Wildlife Park

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  • 218 HAND-REARING

    Sea Tab: vitamin supplement manufactured by Pacific Research Laboratories, POB 1877, El Cajon, California gzozz, USA. necticut 06897, USA. Similac: liquid milk substitute manufactured by M. & R. Dietetic Laboratories, Columbus, Ohio, USA. T e v c d : oral chloramphenicol manufactured by Tevco Company.

    Vicks ointment: decongestant vaporising ointment manufactured by Vicks Chemical Co., Wilton, Con-

    Manuscript submitted I May 1976

    Hand-rearing serval Felis seriral

    at Mole Hall Wildlife Park PAMELA JOHNSTONE Director, Mole Hall Wild@ Park, Widdington, Newport, Essex, Great Britain

    On 11 May 1975 a pair of servals at the Mole Hall Wildlife Park, which had been together since June 1975, mated successfully for the first time. The 9, then seven years old, had been captured in Kenya at about eight weeks of age and kept as a pet prior to her arrival at Mole Hall. The three-year-old 8 had been bred in captivity.

    Three kittens were born on 23 July, the parcnts having been separated several days previously. The 9 remained in her sleeping quarters for 48 hours after the birth and then emerged only to take some rabbit and retreat again. No noises could be heard from the den. Two days after the birth she was seen outside carrying a kitten in her mouth for some time, cveiitually laying it down. When the young cried, however, she suckled it and carried it back into the den. On 27 July she brought out a dead kitten which she again carried for some time before abandoning it. On day 9 she was seen carrying another kitten which, when it was exhausted and nearly strangled, she aban- doned on the ground and began carrying the third.

    It was then decided to attempt to hand-rear the kittens and on day 10 they were removed from the mother and placed under a 250 W mfra-red lamp. As both animals were dulled 0-1 ml Penbritin was given and this dose was repeated daily for the next five days. The kittens, both d, were fed on O s t e r d New Formula, 13.2 g to 85 nil water at four-hourly intervals day and night. This was given with a cat feeder using the

    smallest teat available, and although the animals had some difficulty at first, by the second day they had learned to suck properly. After five days, on veterinary advice, the Ostermilk was gradually changed to Cimicat. Each kitten took betwcen 7-35 ml per feed. After each feed their mouths were wiped with wet cotton-wool. TO stimulate defaecation the anus and genital areas were wiped three times a day until, at four weeks old, they could defaecate unaided. Faeces were soft and mustard coloured.

    When first weighed on day 11, the kittens were 460 and 480 g and from then until about nine weeks old, when weighing became difficult, they gained about 10 g a day. On removal from the mother, the larger kitten appeared to have a dislocated hind leg and an X-ray showed that it was minus the calcaneus. The leg was put in a light splint and after ten days it appeared normal.

    Both kittens progressed well until they were seven weeks old when they started to scour. The Cimicat mixture was halved and arrowroot added, the feeds being increased to three-hourly intervals. This resulted in a slight improvement but the faeces were still very loose. The daily weight increase remained constant, however.

    At ten weeks, we began to attempt to wean the animals and minced day-old chicks were placed in their mouths. These were accepted and for the next three days two minced chicks were eaten each day by each kitten. The following day minced rabbit liver was given but both animals were sick. As the faeces had remained very loose

  • HAND-REARING

    with a quantity of mucus, it was decided to replace the Cimicat with O s t e d fed in the same quantities and still at three-hourly intervals. After this the droppings appeared firmer?

    When they were 11 weeks old the kittens were seen carrying chicks in their mouths and the following day they started to eat whole chicks. The milk feeds reverted to four-hourly intervals, 40-70n-d being offered at each feed. Their consumption of chicks steady increased and at 12 weeks they were eating nine chicks each per day and drinking 400 g Ostermilk, which they still took from the bottle. Water was always available but they only played with thls and were never seen to drmk. They eventually weaned themselves by refusing to suckle at all, the smaller at 16 weeks and the other kitten at 20 weeks.

    They were wormed with half a Coopane tablet at 8 weeks of age and again ten days later. Both animals had lost a great deal of hair and all their whkers during the early weeks. By 12 weeks this had grown again, the whiskers having taken the longest, and they looked completely normal.

    At seven months their development appeared to be comparable with mother-reared infants of

    the same age, except that they would eat only day-old clucks and an occasional sparrow. All other food offered such as rabbit, pigeon, domestic fowl were played with, plucked and discarded.

    On the 28 February 1976, the $! gave birth again and at the time of writing appeared to be caring for the two r7-day-old kittens. There was no sign of the previous carrying behaviour.

    PRODUCTS MENTIONED I N THE TBXT Cimicat: cat-millc substitute, manufactured by Hwchst Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Veterinary Division, Hoechst House, Salisbury Road, H o d o w , Middlesex, Great Britain. Coopane: piperazine adipate anthelmintic supplied by McDougall & Robertson Ltd, Berkhamsted, Herts, Great Britain. Ostermilk New Formula: human-milk substitute manufactured by Glaxo-Farley Foods Ltd, Plymouth, Devon, Great Britain. Penbritin: ampicillin antibiotic manufactured by Beecham Veterinary Products, Great West Road, Brentford, Middlesex, Great Britain.

    Manuscript submitted 18 March 1976

    'A subsequent litter was successfully hand-reared, from the age of two days, using Ostermilk throughout, and we believe it to be more suitable for these animals.

    Hand-rearing a Sumatran tiger Panthera tigris sumatrae

    at Whipsnade Park F. HUGHES Head Keeper, Section IV, The Zoologiral Society o, London, Whipsnade Park, Whipmade, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, Great Britain

    The breeding of Sumatran tigers Panthera tigris suniatrae at Whipsnade Park is arranged by alternating each of the two with the d in the tiger enclosure. On 9 October 1974, a seven-year- old which had been in the collection since 1968 was reintroduced to thed. This animal, born in Rotterdam in June 1970, came to Whipsnade in

    July 1973. Both animals appeared to settle well and quickly became compatible.

    Four cubs were born during the night of 16/17 February 1975. When it appeared that the mother was not caring for them, the adults were separated from the young which were then removed. Unfortunately, by this time only one 9 was alive

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