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Nutritionists are responsible ensuring that hundreds to thousands of different animals receive a healthy diet. An animal’s diet will impact all aspects of its life from health, behavior, and reproduction.  A nutritionist must have knowledge about the purpose of each nutrient and how those nutrients interact in the bodies of herbivores, carnivores, insectivores, omnivores, ruminants, cats, horses, reptiles, fish, birds, insects…. every size shape and type of animal!  They must also identify safe and appropriate food items available for use in captive diets, and understand the digestive and metabolic needs of every species you can find in a zoo or in the wild. Zoo nutritionists work closely with veterinarians, curators and animal keepers to optimize the welfare of all animals in the collection.

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