This month, we have finalised our annual animal stock take, a mammoth task which involves counting each and every animal in our collection!
All Zoo’s carry out the challenge during January as part of compliance with Zoo legislation which requires Zoos and Aquariums to keep precise records of every animal birth, death, arrival and departure.
Peter Litherland at the Welsh Mountain Zoo explained:
“This is a huge task but a necessary one that we all gear up to in January. We have around 1500 animals (including fish and inverts), 100 species at the Zoo, in over 60 enclosures. Recording all of the animals, some of whom can be a little quiet and prefer to hide away, can be somewhat of a challenge!”
Our keepers are fully aware of how many animals they have in their care, especially large mammals such as tigers, chimpanzees and sea lions - but this annual ‘stock take’ provides a valuable record. And some of the smaller creatures like snails hissing cockroaches and frogs take some patience and plenty of double-checking!
The data is submitted to the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), the national professional body offering advice and guidance on all aspects of zoo management and animal welfare. The records are also available for scrutiny by local authority who issue and renew the licenses for Zoos and Aquariums.
Many Zoos' inventories will also be submitted are also recorded on an international database called Species360, which gathers information about animals held in zoological institutions around the world.