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1 April 2021 MORBIDITY AND MORTALITY OF TAKIN (BUDORCAS TAXICOLOR) IN NORTH AMERICAN ZOOLOGICAL INSTITUTIONS FROM 1997 TO 2017
Balbine Jourdan, Michael M. Garner, Priscilla H. Joyner, Jan Ramer, Dawn Zimmerman
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Abstract

Takin (Budorcus taxicolor) are classified as “Vulnerable” on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List. Thus, ex situ conservation efforts provide assurance populations for future survival of this species. The objective of this study was to identify common causes of morbidity and mortality in takin populations in human care. Twenty North American institutions that housed takin from 1997 to 2017 completed a survey requesting medical and husbandry data. Data were examined broadly, by sex and age groups. There were 206 morbidity events (male = 133; female = 73) submitted across 102 takin (male = 62; female = 40). The most common causes of morbidity were infectious or inflammatory diseases (50%; 104/206), degenerative diseases (22%; 46/206), and traumatic events (17%; 34/206). Necropsy reports were provided for 42 takin that died during the study period. The most common causes of mortality were infectious or inflammatory diseases (26%; 11/42), traumatic events (24%; 10/42), and degenerative disease (12%; 5/42). Sixty-two percent of infectious or inflammatory diseases causing morbidity were associated with endoparasites (64/104). Degenerative joint diseases more commonly affected males (78%; 36/46) as well as forelimbs (48%; 22/46) when compared to hindlimbs (30%; 14/46) and unspecified limbs (22%; 10/46). The prevalence of trauma as a cause of morbidity and mortality was higher in neonate and juvenile takin groups combined (morbidity = 19%; mortality = 50%) as compared to adult and senior takin groups combined (morbidity = 15%; mortality = 11%). Older takin were euthanatized more often (57%; 16/28) than younger takin (29%; 4/14). Correlations between husbandry and health were difficult as a result of the inherent limitations of the survey. These data will inform takin-holding zoologic institutions and contribute to the successful management of takin in human care.

Copyright 2021 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Balbine Jourdan, Michael M. Garner, Priscilla H. Joyner, Jan Ramer, and Dawn Zimmerman "MORBIDITY AND MORTALITY OF TAKIN (BUDORCAS TAXICOLOR) IN NORTH AMERICAN ZOOLOGICAL INSTITUTIONS FROM 1997 TO 2017," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 52(1), 157-165, (1 April 2021). https://doi.org/10.1638/2020-0123
Accepted: 23 November 2020; Published: 1 April 2021
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