Twycross Zoo staff start their annual animal audit
Twycross Zoo staff have started the long process of counting every single animal – from blue quails to black-headed spider monkeys – as part of an annual audit.
By the end of this week, the Leicestershire attraction should know exactly how many of each species are living there, taking into account all of last year's new arrivals and departures.
There have been a number of births at the zoo in the past 12 months, including a bonobo monkey, penguins, meerkats and a capybara.
However, the zoo's two giraffes, Harriett and Keisha, were moved to the Blair Drummond Safari Park, in Scotland, after their enclosure was deemed unsuitable.
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Twycross is home to 10 critically-endangered, 20 endangered and 20 vulnerable species.
Over the next week, staff will count and record each animal, bird and invertebrate as part of its zoo licence requirements.
Zoological director Sharon Redrobe said: "Twycross Zoo, together with zoos across the country, completes an annual stock-take for basic animal management and for achieving set conservation, research, and education goals. They also ensure each birth, death and exchange of an animal has been recorded.
"It is also the time where studbook coordinators for endangered species receive the yearly returns so they can monitor how individual species are performing in zoos.
"We count every single animal at the zoo apart from our leafcutter ants, which are counted as a colony. With potentially five million ants per colony, it would prove an impossible task for our keepers."