From lions and tigers to bears and a chameleon named Peachy, the mammoth task of counting more than 11,000 animals for Whipsnade Zoo’s annual inventory has begun.
All mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, and invertebrates will be weighed and measured as part of the herculean undertaking.
However, not all of the creatures at Bedfordshire Zoo are willing to take part.
This means keepers have to use clever tactics to entice animals to stand up and be measured, such as ‘tricking’ penguins into walking on a scale during their morning feeding or coaxing camels into sitting down. climb onto giant weighing boards with a tasty snack.
London Zoo will also carry out a similar inventory later this week.
Line up! From lions and tigers to bears and a chameleon named Peachy (pictured), the daunting task of counting more than 11,000 animals for Whipsnade Zoo’s annual inventory has begun.
Eurasian brown bear Minnie is measured during the annual inventory at Whipsnade Zoo
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ANIMALS AT WHISNADE IN 2023?
- European brown bears Minnie, Mana and Naya, who arrived in April
- Four year old domestic Bactrian camel Oakley
- Two year old Stilton’s Blue-throated Macaw
- Peachy the Panther Chameleon
- Tina the giant red-legged millipede
- Ring-tailed lemur called Quaker
- Tyrone the spiny turtle
- A herd of Asian elephants
Among those counted at Whipsnade Zoo so far are a domestic Bactrian camel named Oakley and a critically endangered Blue-throated Macaw named Stilton.
European brown bears Minnie, Mana and Naya, who arrived at the conservation zoo in April as part of a global breeding program, also took part in their first annual weigh-in.
They measured over 6 feet against their giant rulers after being tempted by a pinch of honey.
Zookeeper Tim Savage said: “All animals at Whipsnade Zoo are regularly weighed and measured, but today’s annual weigh-in is an opportunity to review the information we have recorded and ensure it is up to date and accurate.”
‘With so many animals with different personalities, we have to come up with creative tactics to lure them into the balance; from luring our 2.5kg jumping lemurs onto the scales in exchange for their favorite candy corn or using honey to encourage our European brown bears to stretch out to their full height against giant rulers.
‘Minnie and Mana proved that bears really would do anything for a taste of honey!’
All animal weights and measurements will be recorded in a shared database called the Zoological Information Management System, which will also be used by London Zoo staff for their inventory.
This helps zookeepers around the world to compare important information on thousands of threatened species.
Performing weight checks and waist measurements not only help staff monitor animal welfare, but also allows them to identify pregnant creatures.
Measurement: A giant red-legged millipede named Tina is weighed by keeper Elliott Rose
Among those counted at Bedfordshire Zoo so far is a critically endangered blue-throated macaw named Stilton.
Give us a treat! Handlers had to cajole camels onto giant weights with a tasty snack
One ring-tailed lemur leaps over another as apprentice zookeeper Mark Wallington handles a scale
Tyrone the spiny turtle is weighed during the annual weigh-in at Whipsnade Zoo today
Not only that, but it provides important information for their care, as well as for their species, as many are threatened in the wild and are part of conservation breeding programs.
Whipsnade is home to more than 11,000 animals, including a herd of Asian elephants.
Just last year, the conservancy zoo celebrated the birth of the endangered Asian elephant calf, Nang Phaya, as well as the arrival of a reticulated giraffe calf named after the war poet Wilfred Owen.
A critically endangered Visayan warty sucker was also added to the zoo’s official records in 2022, along with hundreds of critically endangered and extinct freshwater fish that were bred in the zoo’s aquarium and breeding center. of fresh water conservation.
Stay still! Zookeeper Elizabeth Brown weighs Stilton the Blue-throated Macaw
European brown bears Minnie (pictured), Mana and Naya, who arrived at the conservation zoo in April as part of a global breeding program, participated in their first annual weigh-in.
All weights and measurements of the animals will be recorded in a shared database called the Zoological Information Management System.
Whipsnade is home to more than 11,000 animals, including these ring-tailed lemurs
THE IUCN RED LIST
Red-listed endangered species are animals of the highest conservation priority that need “urgent action” to save.
An amber list is reserved for the next most critical group, followed by a green list.
Red List Criteria:
- globally threatened
- Historical population decline in the UK during 1800-1995
- Severe decline (at least 50 per cent) in the UK breeding population in the last 25 years
- Severe contraction (at least 50 per cent) of UK breeding range in the last 25 years
In recent years, in the UK, several more species have been added to the list.
- atlantic puffin
- long tailed duck