ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s keepers began the mammoth task of counting every animal for their annual stocktake on Thursday, January 10.
The zoo is home to more than 3,500 animals and zookeepers gathered their clipboards and calculators to take stock of each invertebrate, bird, fish, mammal, reptile and amphibian.
Keepers have to count every animal; from a troop of squirrel monkeys to Madagascan cockroaches, they also tallied up the individuals from eight different species of deer, the Bactrian camels and more than 60 species of birds, including the military macaws.
2018 saw the UK’s largest zoo celebrate the birth of Amur tiger cubs, Dmitri, Makari and Czar, who were added to the census, along with their parents.
On Thursday, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s animal manager, Matthew Webb said: “Today marks the start of the annual stocktake, where we make sure every animal is recorded as part of our official zoo license requirements. We’ll also share the information with other zoos around the world, as the numbers are used to plan the conservation breeding programmes for endangered species.”
The information is shared with other zoos via a database called Zoological Information Management System, which is used to help manage the worldwide conservation breeding programmes for endangered animals.