Animal count is enough to drive staff batty

This Is Wiltshire: Egyptian Fruit Bat Egyptian Fruit Bat

ZOO keepers at Cotswold Wildlife Park have spent the past month carrying out a stock take of a different kind.

From monkeys to lizards, they have had to count every single animal in the park to make sure they know exactly how many they have.

This Is Wiltshire:

Getting up close to a giraffe  during the animal count

While the larger creatures are not so difficult, trying to keep track of a flock of birds or a colony of bats presented quite a challenge for the staff.

“At times it is quite frustrating and can take some time but it is something we need to do,” said Chris Kibby, the assistant curator.

“Obviously the giraffes and other big animals are quite easy. It’s keeping track of the bats which live in the dark and move around which is difficult.

“The biggest challenge is for those who have to count cockroaches or stick insects. Counting many of the birds is also a challenge because they have a natural tendency to hide.”

The count is needed not only so the park can keep its licence but also so they know how many animals they have.

Chris said: “It’s important so everyone knows we have the number of lions we say we have, for example. But it also helps us keep track of any births, and unfortunately deaths, which may occur which we do not know about.

“Everything was as it should be this year so we’re now all done until the next time.”

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