Scouts and cubs pitch in to help count the animals for the end of year inventory
Accurately counting just under 2000 animals is no easy feat and it is a task that the keepers at Banham Zoo face at the end of every year which continues into the first part of January. This information is then sent to the local authority as part of the requirements of our zoo licence.
This year, while the Animal Records Keeper was busy coordinating the annual end of year count at Africa Alive! the Scouts and Cubs from Kenninghall counted some of the animals for the keepers at Banham Zoo. This also provided them with an insight into what the annual inventory involves and how keepers can accurately count over 100 different species across the zoo.
‘My favourite animals were the millipedes. Millipedes feel different, they felt very tickly’ — Levi Makin – Age 8
‘We learnt about the differences between females and males of different species of animals’ — Chelsea – Age 13
Of course the keepers and the Animal Records Keeper have a good understanding of how many animals are at the zoo (it is quite easy to count the two magnificent tigers). The keepers work with the animals every day and record all sorts of information about their health and behaviour on the ZIMS (Zoological Information Management System) database. ZIMS is accessed by zoos across the globe. This sharing of information enables the coordinators of zoo based breeding programs to analyse populations and make recommendations to zoos, which in turn helps maintain healthy zoo based populations of some of the most endangered animals on the planet.
The end of year inventory is a chance for the keepers and the Animal Records Keeper to check the numbers all tally, especially some of the larger groups of animals such as the Swainson’s lorikeets (Banham Zoo has over 60!).
Banham Zoo has had outstanding breeding success in 2017 with notable arrivals being three black-footed penguin chicks hatched (Endangered) and two captivating Sri-Lankan leopard cubs were born (Endangered). We also received a female Rothschild’s mynah (Critically Endangered) to join our resident male.