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Cheetahs Benefit from Clean Eating, Too

posted: 04/02/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Cheetahs relaxing
Wolfgang Bayer/DCI

It's widely accepted that humans should consume a diet of whole, unprocessed foods, and it looks like the same advice could ring true for cheetahs.

In a comprehensive study of 184 captive cheetahs in 86 facilities around the globe, Dr. Katherine Whitehouse-Tedd, of Nottingham Trent University, found that cheetahs fed a diet of raw animal carcasses showed fewer symptoms of gastrointestinal diseases than cheetahs fed horse meat and other processed foods.

Captive cheetahs are developing gastritis and other gastrointestinal conditions at epidemic rates. While the affliction is extremely uncommon amongst wild cheetahs, more than 95% of cheetahs in captivity in North America suffer from the ailment.

According to Whitehouse-Tedd, "Gastrointestinal diseases are likely to confer significant welfare implications on affected animals and may, at least partially, explain the poor reproductive output of captive cheetahs".

Click here to read the full study in PLOS One

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