Zookeepers at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo are gearing themselves for the annual stock take - the mammoth task of counting every animal at the Zoo.
The UK’s biggest Zoo is home to more than 200 different species and each creature, great or small, needs to be tallied up.
2011 saw the pitter-patter of many tiny feet at the Zoo, with the birth of two endangered lynx kittens, an pygmy hippo calf and a jumbo arrival in the form of a baby Asian elephant – all of which need to be added to the census.
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s Curator Malcolm Fitzpatrick said: “The annual stocktake is an important, albeit mammoth, task we carry out here at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo every year.
“We’ve had some really exciting new arrivals this year, and we need to make sure that these and every other animal are counted, so that we can continue to work with other zoos around the world on our endangered species breeding programmes”.
The stocktake is a compulsory count needed as part of the Zoo’s licence. The figures are collated in an international database and help zookeepers around the world to coordinate breeding programmes for endangered species.