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Dudley Zoo keepers use edible glitter to monitor tiger's health

When keepers at Dudley Zoo needed to distinguish the faeces of Sumatran tigers, Daseep and Joao, they turned to edible festive glitter to help.

Staff are feeding nine year-old female, Daseep, chunks of meat sprinkled with the colourful cake decoration so they can spot sparkles in her samples. Acting Team Leader, Sam Grove, said:

“We’re feeding Daseep the glittery meat chunks separately so we know only she’s digested it.

“Faeces can tell us a lot about the health of the animal as we look at the consistency and patterns, but it’s also a very useful tool for us to track her hormone levels too.

“Once we’ve collected her sample every few days we send it away to a veterinary laboratory, who check and record her levels.

“It’s great for us to get a baseline so we can track any peaks and falls during her monthly cycle to determine if she’s in heat and ready to mate.

“It’s a simple, safe and stress-free way to monitor the health of our animals and she’s none the wiser!”

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