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Banham Zoo completes annual stocktake




Zookeepers have just completed the mammoth task of counting every single animal in their care.

WHO’S A PRETTY BOY?: Michelle Lawrence feeds some lorikeets. Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography.
WHO’S A PRETTY BOY?: Michelle Lawrence feeds some lorikeets. Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography.

Staff at Banham Zoo have had their work cut out this week, as the visitor attraction conducted its very own stocktake.

The task involved counting 119 Madagascan hissing cockroaches, 70 rainbow lorikeets, eight ring-tailed lemurs, four Sri Lankan leopards and two tigers – to name just a few.

The annual inventory is a requirement under the Zoo Licensing Act and is submitted to the local authority at the start of each year.

While some animals are easier to spot (there are only so many places for a giraffe to hide), education officers at the zoo have the trickier job of counting more than 150 giant land snails.

Zookeepers, along with the animal record keeper, also have to record information on the animals’ health, arrivals, departures, births and deaths that have happened throughout the year.

This information is fed into a database used by zoos around the world to share information about animals and their environments, which is constantly being updated.

Amur tigers, also known as Siberian tigers, are the largest of all the big cats. They are one of nine subspecies of tiger, three of which are now extinct. Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography.
Amur tigers, also known as Siberian tigers, are the largest of all the big cats. They are one of nine subspecies of tiger, three of which are now extinct. Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography.

One of the people taking part in the annual count was Jade House, who explained that staff are assigned to different sections.

“The keepers have a very good understanding of how many animals they have as they have to know on a daily basis how many animals are in each enclosure,” she said.

“So, the stocktake is a final check at the end of the year.”

As an animal record keeper, Jade’s job is to support zookeepers in entering the right information.

“The count went very well and we were very organised,” said senior zookeeper Michelle Lawrence, who mainly takes care of primates.

Notable arrivals in 2018 included a baby red panda, a critically endangered vulture chick and a baby camel, born in March.

For two pages of pictures, pick up the latest copy of the Diss Express.



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