Counting heads at DZG

Keepers have had a busy week counting more than 1,500 animals from 177 species for the site’s annual census.

DZG-count-monkey-webThe yearly headcount includes creatures from the tiniest stick insects to an alpha male giraffe – and all sorts in between.

CEO, Peter Suddock, said: “The census verifies our computer records and it is a requirement of our Zoo Licence that we notify the local authority of our stock each year.

“Primate and big cat keepers have it easy, we know we have four Bornean orang utans and three Asiatic lions, but for some of the smaller creatures it’s a task that requires utmost patience – stick insects are immensely difficult to count as they jump about all over the place and just as you’ve finished counting you’ll find two or three have attached themselves to your sleeve, so you have to start all over again, and counting penguins is tricky as they just won’t keep still to be scanned!”

He added: “The whole procedure takes about half a week to complete.”

DZG’s TOP TEN: Largest group of birds: 59 Humboldt penguins; Largest group of mammals: 19 Barbary sheep; Largest group of insects: 352 stick insects; 3 Asiatic lions; 4 Bornean orang utans; 3 Rothschild giraffes; 11 meerkats; 28 Madagascan lemurs (6 species); 7 flamingos; 10 Asiatic short-clawed otters


CAPTION: No monkey business, please! Trainee keeper, Cerys Grove, attempts to count lively small primates in Monkey Tails.