Solka-Floc Dietary Fiber for Lions

05. Jan 2021

JRS USA's Solka-Floc dietary fiber is an integral part of the diet for Abena, the African Lion, at the John Ball Zoo in Michigan.

Solka-Floc Dietary Fiber for Lions

Solka-Floc Dietary Fiber for Lions

Zoos are a key contributor in the study and conservation of wildlife, with an important aspect of conservation being a healthy diet so the animals may continue to grow and flourish. While a healthy diet has different characteristics for each species, a common necessity across many is a feeling of satiety to discourage overeating and weight gain. JRS USA can now add African Lion to the list of species whose diets are aided by their dietary fiber products.

At the John Ball Zoo in Michigan, the large cat team had been working to find the proper diet for their 14 year old, female African Lion, Abena. Having been at the zoo since 2007 and housed with her sister, Bakari, Abena was doing well until 2017.

In 2017, a male African Lion, Kiume, joined the group at which time the sisters required contraceptive implants to ensure undesired breeding did not occur, per the AZA African Lion Species Survival Plan. Just like in humans, animals may also see an impact on weight with contraceptive implants. This was the case for Abena, who gained roughly 176 pounds over a 2-year period (2017-2019). With such a significant weight change, the veterinarians, zookeepers and Behavioral Husbandry Coordinator worked together with zoo nutritionists to come up with a diet and exercise plan to bring Abena back into a healthy weight range.

This new diet included JRS USA’s Solka-Floc® dietary fiber. Because a main benefit of fiber is a satiated feeling, Abena was able to receive her typical daily ration of meat with Solka-Floc added, and feel full though she was consuming less than she normally would. Over the 2020 year, Abena’s team has helped her lose 100 pounds gradually and safely, through exercise and the addition of Solka-Floc® dietary fiber.

Solka-Floc® dietary fiber is also being tested for satiety in tigers and other big cats at the John Ball Zoo, Montgomery Zoo (Alabama), San Diego Zoo (California) and Dallas Zoo (Texas).

If you are interested in hearing more about how JRS USA’s dietary fibers can help your zoo’s large cat diet, contact us for more information.

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