More than 600 animals counted and measured in Yorkshire Wildlife Park audit

Animal audit at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
Animal audit at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

All creatures great and small have been counted and measured in the annual Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s audit.

From millipedes to meerkats and lions to leeches, all 600-plus animals had their vital statistics written down as part of a national monitoring programme.

Animal audit at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

Animal audit at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

Staff and Rangers had their hands full as they worked out ingenious methods to take the pinpoint measurements in over a week of activity.

With clipboards, tasty treats and purpose-designed devices, YWP staff went round the 110-acre site for the annual inventory.

A few grubs helped entice the armadillos onto weighing scales while bugs and giant African Land Snails had to be delicately measured with precision callipers. Meanwhile, the battle to measure giraffes proved a stretch.

The weights ranged from mere milligrams to hundreds of kilos. Victor the polar bear tips the scales at more than 600 kilos, which is more than a family car.

Debbie Porter, animal manager of the park, said:“It really is a challenge that requires a lot of ingenuity and patience.

“It can be tough getting the wallabies to stay still long enough and giraffes are obviously a tall order but the staff are very experienced and efficient.”

Yorkshire Wildlife Park is one of more than 1,100 zoos, aquariums and other wildlife member organizations involving over 1,100 animal care professionals to count and measure their animals.

The aim of the shared database is to advance global collaboration and information sharing for zoos around the world to help further the knowledge of animal populations and share vital species information.

The information is integrated into a master database that includes millions of records on more than 22,000 species and ten million individual animals.

The park in Branton, the UK’s fastest growing and most innovative wildlife attraction, is open every day including New Year’s Day.