Award-winning park staff out for the count as part of worldwide audit
THE animals went in two by two – hurrah!
It might not quite be counting the wildlife on to Noah’s Ark, but staff at Doncaster’s Yorkshire Wildlife Park had the tricky task of adding up the animals to kick-start the New Year.
Each and every species at the Branton-based visitor attraction was accounted for as part of a worldwide ‘animal audit’, used to keep tabs on species in captivity across the globe.
Staff spent hours painstakingly counting each and every of the award winning park’s 243 creatures during the first few days of 2013.
Park director Cheryl Williams said: “We need to count every single animal – however big or small.
“This information helps keep all our records up to date and we share all our data on our animals and their husbandry with other parks, zoos and conservationists.”
Every single one of the park’s 55 species had to be accounted for – presenting the rangers with some tricky challenges, including keeping up with the fast moving meerkats.
And for the first time, the park’s newest arrivals – four giraffes, who recently moved into their new £350,000 enclosure – were included in the count.
The results from the annual event will be submitted to the International Species Information System, which contains statistics on thousands of endangered species and the data is shared across the world.
Cheryl added: “The audit may not be the most exciting start to the New Year, but it has to be done.”
And young visitors were also able to join in the fun by completing an activity sheet based around the audit.
The park enjoyed a record year in 2012 – with 353,037 visitors passing through the gates.
Numbers were up by 10 per cent and the park was also voted Yorkshire’s Most Magnificent attraction in a public vote.
The 70-acre park’s collection includes the famous lions rescued from Romania, endangered Amur tigers, leopards and painted hunting dogs.
It also houses smaller creatures including lemurs, monkeys and meerkats.