Equipped with only pens and clipboards, zoo keepers at Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire are on a mission to count every single animal in the Zoo’s collection as part of its annual census.
Twycross Zoo, together with zoos across the country, completes a stock-take of all animals every January for basic animal management and for achieving set conservation, research, and education goals.
Neil Dorman, Curator of Conservation, Programmes and Planning, commented: “The annual stock take is something we do as part of our zoo licence, but it also helps us develop our collection plan for the year ahead and ensures that each birth, death and animal transfer has been recorded correctly. It’s also an opportunity for studbook coordinators of endangered species to monitor how individual species are performing in zoos for breeding programmes.
Following a very successful year of breeding at the Zoo, keepers have some new animals to count for the very first time:
Neil said: “This year has been a very successful year for breeding at Twycross so we have lots of new babies to count, including three different species of endangered great ape, which is very rare.”
In 2013 Twycross Zoo celebrated the birth of a baby bonobo, a western lowland gorilla and more recently a Bornean orang utan. The Zoo also welcomed baby vicuna, pygmy goats, capybara, meerkats, marmoset babies, penguin chicks, a white faced saki monkey, snow leopard cubs, a crowned lemur, a De Brazza’s monkey, a howler monkey and many more!
Neil added: “We also had some new animals join the collection from Zoo’s within the UK and overseas as part of European and International Breeding Programmes, some of which included: stick insects, beetles and millipedes; lemurs, marmosets, and a critically endangered female Amur leopard to pair with our male.”
With many animal births expected this year and animals arriving from other collections for new developments opening at Easter, 2014 is set to be an explosive year for Twycross Zoo!