Skip to content


Carnivore Nutrition

Unit(s) of assessment: Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology

School: School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences


Research primarily focuses on understanding the nutrition of captive domestic and exotic carnivore species, in particular the captive cheetah. Projects include an investigation into captive nutritional husbandry strategies, utilising behaviour, gut health, and welfare indicators. Collaboration with an international team of veterinary nutritionists and epidemiologists aims to determine dietary risk factors for gastrointestinal disease in captive cheetahs. An investigation into the microbiota of free-ranging cheetahs is being conducted to develop a reference range for comparative studies in captive animals. Work in situ cheetah conservation includes investigations of the efficacy of non-lethal predator control methods (i.e. livestock guarding dogs), and the attitudes of zoo visitors and members of the public towards cheetah conservation.


WHITEHOUSE-TEDD, K.M., CAVE, N.J., UGARTE, C.E., WALDRON, L.A., PRASAIN, J.K., ARABSHAHI, A., BARNES, S. and THOMAS, D.G., 2011. Dietary isoflavone absorption, excretion, and metabolism in captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus). Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, 42 (4), pp. 658-670.

DEPAUW, S., HESTA, M., WHITEHOUSE-TEDD, K., VANHAECKE, L., VERBRUGGHE, A. and JANSSENS, G.P., 2011.Animal fibre: the forgotten nutrient in strict carnivores? First insights in the cheetah. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition.

DEPAUW, S., HESTA, M., WHITEHOUSE-TEDD, K., STAGEGAARD, J., BUYSE, J. and JANSSENS, G.P., 2011. Blood values of adult captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) fed either supplemented beef or whole rabbit carcasses. Zoo Biology.

BELL, K.M., VAN ZYL, M., UGARTE, C.E. and HARTMAN, A., 2011. Bilateral carpal valgus deformity in hand-reared cheetah cubs (Acinonyx jubatus). Zoo Biology, 30 (2), pp. 199-204.

BELL, K.M., RUTHERFURD, S.M., COTTAM, Y.H. and HENDRIKS, W.H., 2011. Evaluation of two milk replacers fed to hand-reared cheetah cubs (Acinonyx jubatus): nutrient composition, apparent total tract digestibility, and comparison to maternal cheetah milk. Zoo Biology, 30 (4), pp. 412-426.

BELL, K.M., RUTHERFURD, S.M. and HENDRIKS, W.H., 2010. Exposure of growing and adult captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) to dietary isoflavones: twenty years later. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, 94 (6), p. E329-E338.