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Zoo Annual Stock Take Commences

It’s that time of year again when staff at Drusillas Park commence the biggest job of the zoo calendar - counting each and every animal for the New Year stock take.

Of course, the keepers are fully aware of how many residents they have in their care. However, the annual stock take provides an opportunity to ensure that all the zoo records are up to date and accurate in compliance with zoo legislation.

Senior Keeper, Claudia Perryman is overseeing the task for the first time this year and certainly has her work cut out. With just over 1000 individual animals made up of 116 different species the process can take several days. Counting some of the smaller creatures also takes a great deal of patience and plenty of double-checking.

Claudia commented: “It’s important to make sure our figures add up for all the animals in the zoo, so as well as counting the monkeys we even have to count the invertebrates including stick insects and cockroaches too!”

The last twelve months have brought many new arrivals to Drusillas including two beautiful red pandas, called Mulan and Tibao who were rehomed to the zoo at Easter. 2013 also saw the arrival of many baby bundles of fur and feathers including a Goeldi’s monkey, silvery marmoset, red-handed tamarin, Humboldt penguin chicks, black cheeked lovebirds and a rare black lemur baby.  Each of these animals must now have their own record card, holding details of parentage and other important information and Claudia will be taking particular care to ensure all details are recorded correctly.

The award-winning zoo in Alfriston has an excellent track record with this process and has even been recognised by the International Species Information System (ISIS) for their high level of data accuracy. ISIS maintains the information provided by the zoological community on an International scale, so its members can track the movement of an animal along with its genetic background. 

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