Can you count up to zoo?
Published: 9th Jan 2020Staff at Newquay Zoo are taking on the biggest job in the zoo calender – counting each and every animal in their collection.
Staff at Newquay Zoo are taking on the biggest job in the zoo calender – counting each and every animal in their collection.
There are quite a few new animals to include this year, like Lien an Endangered Owston’s civet, Belle a Critically Endangered Philippine spotted deer, 7 new youngsters in the penguin pool, and Nofy a cute and mischievous crowned lemur.
Zoo experts keep detailed records of animal births, deaths, arrivals and departures through the year. In addition, the annual headcount is completed each January as a requirement of zoo licensing.
The charity zoo’s Head Keeper Dave Rich: “We have 1,365 animals at Newquay Zoo, so this is a pretty big task. Our Birds and Lower Vertebrates and Invertebrates sections are the hardest, as there are a lot of smaller creatures like frogs, lizards and bugs – they can be tricky, you have to check under every last rock and leaf! Even the larger animals, like the zebras, can be mischievous and make your eyes go funny after several counts.’’
Time, patience and checking your numbers over and over again are key to a successful count.
Animals are monitored daily and zoos track the animals in their care using a computer system called ZIMS – the Zoological Information Management System. This brings together collection information, studbook data for individual species and veterinary records. Information goes to a central database and can be used by organizations such as the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the body that represents top zoos in the country, to help manage conservation projects and breeding programmes.
The Cornish zoo hopes to be as busy as ever with animal births this year.