Folia Parasitologica 64:013 (2017) | DOI: 10.14411/fp.2017.013
Problems with parasitic infections and their interspecies transmissions are common in zoological gardens and could pose serious health damage to captive animals. This study presents results of eight-year monitoring of intestinal parasites in animals from Zoo Ljubljana, Slovenia. A total of 741 faecal samples from 40 animal species were collected two to four times per year and examined microscopically. Intestinal parasites were detected in 45% of samples, with detection of helminths (Cestoda, Nematoda - Ascaridida, Enoplida, Strongylida, Oxyurida, Rhabditida and Trichurida) and protists (Apicomplexa and Ciliophora) in 25% and 13% of samples, respectively; mixed infection was found in 7% of samples. The mostly infected were ungulates (61%), followed by reptiles (44%), ratites (29%), primates (22%) and carnivores (7%). During the observation period, the number of infected animal species increased from 8 to 25. This is the first long-term monitoring study of intestinal parasites in zoo animals from Slovenia. Routine monitoring of parasitic infection and regular deworming and hygienic measures are necessary to prevent gastrointestinal infections in captive animals.
Received: November 30, 2016; Accepted: March 21, 2017; Published online: April 21, 2017