Following the countdown to Christmas the team at Colchester Zoo have been counting up its residents as they undertake the task of their yearly stock take.
Now the task of counting the animals may seem an easy one but every mammal, bird, fish and reptile has to be counted! For their elephant care team, this is an easy task, however for others it can be more of a challenge!
It would be impossible to count some residents such as all of our butterflies, birds and fish so the larger groups are submitted as 1 colony rather than individual numbers – this makes things a little easier as trying to make sure you don’t count the same fish twice in an aquarium of tropical fish or the same bird twice in a flock of flying birds is quite a tricky task!
Keepers have trained lorikeets to respond to the sound of a bell, when the bell is rung, they fly into their aviary therefore helping the keepers count them one by one as they enter.
The numbers are now flowing in from this stock take with a difference! The total number of species at Colchester Zoo is made up of the following:
This equates to over 1000 individual animals including those counted so far of 391 mammals, 198 birds, 34 reptiles, 50 frogs and colonies of fish and insects!
The annual count takes the Animal Care Team and Animal Records department around a week to complete and collate. All the data is then submitted, along with many other zoos, to a central database as well as sent to the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA).
Colchester Zoo have a number of new additions to add to the records following their baby boom this year including our Amur tiger cubs, Amur leopard cubs, Red panda cubs, Aardvark baby, various primate youngsters and more! They also have new species in our count this year such as the cheeky Barbary macaques!
For more information on the Animal Count: https://www.colchester-zoo.com/2019/12/annual-count-2019/