By Hailee Vance, M.A.
Kirkman Group, Inc.
The Sierra Safari Zoo in Reno, Nevada, is one of Kirkman’s newest customers, but the supplements it purchases aren’t for the employees — they are for the animals!
The zoo’s journey to Kirkman® started when its 18-year-old male lion named Kenya suddenly became ill. After performing a series of tests, they discovered that Kenya was lacking in the enzyme lipase.
“[After diagnosis] I contacted your chemist and he pointed me towards one of your products,” General Manager Deborah Smith said. “Giving him this supplement daily and being careful to feed Kenya as lean a meat as we can obtain has caused him to regain both his weight and vigor.”
Smith was directed to Kirkman® through one of the company’s outside sales representatives, who told her about Kirkman’s Ultra Tested® protocol. She then made contact with Larry Newman, Kirkman’s vice president and chemist, who suggested Kirkman’s Maximum Spectrum Enzym-Complete/DPP-IV™ Fruit Free w/Isogest®. This product contains the enzyme lipase, which Kenya was lacking in, and it is free from fruit-derived enzymes that can cause more digestive issues in very sensitive cases. The personal contact Smith received from Newman was just one of the reasons she decided to buy from Kirkman®.
On June 24, 2014, Kenya started using the enzyme, and two months later, he has already shown great improvement. Smith said she could see a difference in the quality and condition of Kenya’s coat, which is one of the first indicators of a poor nutritional profile in animals.
“I decided to use your supplements both due to your claims of purity and because of the direct personal attention from your head chemist,” Smith said.
After seeing results in Kenya’s health and speaking with Newman further, Smith started giving all 15 cats as well as 2 hyenas one of Kirkman’s calcium supplements. She said the changes she has seen in the animals have all been positive and plans to continue to use Kirkman’s supplements in the future.
It is important to remember, giving animals dietary supplements can be a complicated process – one that should not be taken lightly. The Sierra Safari Zoo has a veterinarian on call and the zoo manager spoke directly with Kirkman® before giving their animals any supplements.
Newman gave us some basic facts about animals and supplements you may find helpful.
- Dog and cat food is heavily fortified with vitamins and minerals, so dogs and cats usually don’t need any additional supplementation unless they are sick. If they are ill, extra vitamin C seems to help.
- Birds, fish, guinea pigs, primates and humans need vitamin C in their diets because their bodies can’t make it. Most other animals can make their own vitamin C.
- All animals seem to need vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin K in their diets.
- Cattle, sheep and goats need fiber, which they convert to energy.
- Chickens and pigs can’t utilize fiber and need grains instead.
- Horses have special requirements, which include substantial amounts of selenium and vitamin E for stamina.
If you are interested in putting your pet on nutritional supplementation, it is recommended that you speak to your veterinarian since certain supplements can be dangerous for some animals.
The Sierra Safari Zoo is located at 10200 North Virginia Street, Reno, NV 89506. It is open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., April 1 to October 31.