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  • Author or Editor: Shawn B. Allin x
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Objective—To compare blood lipid concentrations and lipoprotein patterns for captive and wild American black bears (Ursus americanus).

Animals—7 captive and 9 wild adult (≥ 4 years old) black bears.

Procedure—Blood was collected from 2 groups of captive black bears (groups A and B) and 1 group of wild black bears (group C). Blood triglyceride (TG) and cholesterol concentrations were compared among groups. Plasma lipoproteins were isolated by use of a self-generating gradient of iodixanol, and lipoprotein patterns were compared between groups A and B.

Results—Captive bears (mean ± SD, 187.8 ± 44.4 kg) weighed significantly more than wild bears (mean, 104.8 ± 41.4 kg), but mean body weight did not differ between groups A and B. Mean blood TG concentrations for groups B (216.8 ± 16.0 mg/dL) and C (190.7 ± 34.0 mg/dL) were significantly higher than that of group A (103.9 ± 25.3 mg/dL). Mean blood cholesterol concentration was also significantly higher for group B (227.8 ± 8.2 mg/dL) than for groups A (171.7 ± 35.5 mg/dL) or C (190.8 ± 26.8 mg/dL). Mean very-low-density lipoprotein TG and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations were 2- and 3-fold higher, respectively, for group B, compared with concentrations for group A.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Blood lipid concentrations vary significantly among populations of black bears. Plasma lipoprotein patterns of captive bears differed significantly between colonies and may have reflected differences in diet or management practices.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research