VIDEO: All present and correct at the zoo

Senior keepers at Whipsnade Zoo grabbed their clipboards for a very unusual stock take, which included everything from the tiny Egyptian tortoises to jumbo-sized Asian elephants.

Friday, 10th January 2014, 10:56 am

Counting larger animals such as the playful Californian sealions can be quite fun, but it will come as no surprise that for some of the insects, like ants, keepers simply guess the size of a colony by thousands rather than try to count every individual ant.

With a bumper year of births, including Max the elephant and Willow the giraffe, topping up the population alongside six ring-tailed lemurs, who arrived from the Netherlands recently, Whipsnade staff need to keep track of growing numbers.

But the stock check is not only important for the zoo, as its results are entered into the International Species Information System (ISIS), which collates the movement of zoological animals around the world for conservation purposes.


And what happens if an animal the size of an elephant goes missing?

Elephant keeper Katie Webster says this will never happen as staff regularly keep track throughout the year to make sure the animals are happy and healthy.

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