The team at Drusillas were kept busy as the new year began, with an annual stock take of counting each and every animal in the zoo’s collection.
It is one of the biggest jobs in the zoo calendar and is undertaken by keepers around the country at this time of year. It is completed as part of compliance with zoo legislation, which requires zoos and aquariums to keep precise records of every animal birth, death, arrival and departure. The team is aware of how many animals they have in its care, especially the larger species such as the penguins, lemurs and otters. But the annual stock take provides an opportunity to ensure that all the records are up to date and reflect accurately the number of residents at the zoo.
There have been a lot of new arrivals over the last 12 months that need to be accounted for including two golden lion tamarins. Last year also saw a baby boom including a baby black lemur, colobus monkey, squirrel monkeys, prairie dogs and penguins all born at the zoo. Each of these animals must have their own record card, holding details of parentage and other important information. With approximately 1,000 individual animals made up of 138 different species, the keepers have their work cut out and the process can take several days.
Zoo Manager, Sue Woodgate, said, “I really enjoy this annual task. I love being away from my desk and out in the Park with the animals. I must admit though I do go cross eyed when I start counting our cockroaches; there are hundreds of them and three full tanks to count!”