ZSL Whipsnade Zoo has kicked off the New Year with its annual stocktake – the mammoth task of counting every single animal at the Zoo.
Home to more than 2,500 animals, zookeepers have dusted off their clipboards to tot up each invertebrate, bird, fish, mammal, reptile, and amphibian.
It’s been a busy 12 months at the Zoo with the arrival of endangered Amur tiger Botzman, who joined as part of the European breeding programme for the endangered species, as well as six ring-tailed lemurs who travelled 200 miles from the Netherlands to make Whipsnade their new home.
2013 was also a bumper year for babies, including Willow the reticulated giraffe, moose twins Bruce and Spruce, Bactrian camel calves Mo and Millie, and Asian elephant Max, born on 12 October, who will be stepping out for his first head count tomorrow.
The compulsory count is required as part of ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s zoo license, and all of the information is logged into the International Species Information System (ISIS), where it’s used to manage the international breeding programmes for endangered animals.