All present and correct as wildlife park takes stock

Julie James, a animal ranger at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Branton, carries an inventory of animals. Our picture shows her with a black and white lemur.

Julie James, a animal ranger at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Branton, carries an inventory of animals. Our picture shows her with a black and white lemur.

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Lions? Present. Lemurs? Present.

Thousands of South Yorkshire residents will be completing their census forms this year - but some animal residents have already done their version!

All the creatures living at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Branton, Doncaster, have done their equivalent of the survey in a major count at the site.

Park director Cheryl Williams said the inventory of animals was carried out at the site every year - and could be pretty tricky.

She said: “This means that staff have to go around and make sure that the park records accurately show every animal – a bit like an annual stock take with a difference!

“It is trickier than most stock takes though as the stock tends to move around a lot.”

Park bosses say the count is important as they need to report their annual animal inventory to the major zoo associations.

Although all zoos and parks in BIAZA - the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums - maintain up-to-date records of animals it is regarded as vital to do an annual count.

Animal director at the park John Minion said: “It is important that all zoos who take part in the international breeding programmes stock take at the same time as this information is sent to the studbook keepers so they know exactly the pool of animals available for their animal moves and breeding recommendations for 2011- and where they are.

“It is also useful for us as a measure - historical data at one point in time because as Yorkshire Wildlife Park only opened in April 2009 and it shows us year on year just how much the Park has grown.”

Staff were joined in the count by volunteers.

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