Census tortoise trouble

Our annual census is now in full swing, and creatures great and small are being counted across the zoo’s 40-acre site.

For most species it’s a simple matter of a quick head count, but ungulates keepers hit a problem when faced with a seven-strong group of tortoises.   dzg_tortoise_scanner_web   Head of Media and Communications, Jill Hitchman, explained: “Our African spur-thighed tortoises are all roughly the same age, thus the same size so we really struggle to tell individuals apart.   “Keepers had to use a hand-held scanner to identify each animal by their unique microchip.”  

Senior keeper, Adam Walker, scans the microchip of an African spur-thighed tortoise during the annual census.