Staff carry out annual animal audit at Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster

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It’s certainly an end of year audit with a difference accounting for 243 animals.

Staff at Doncaster’s Yorkshire Wildlife Park logged 62 different species in their annual audit, which took one week to complete.

When you are a peckish giraffe, a clipboard looks just alike a tasty snack rather than a scientific document.'Behansin decided to tuck in at the annual animal audit at Yorkshire Wildlife Park as staff took the details of all 243 animals from 62 species.'The week-long exercise including challenges such as getting a wriggling worm to keep still and maneuvering a 75-stone polar bear onto heavyweight scales.'Getting a wriggling worm to keep still and maneuvering a 75-stone polar bear onto heavyweight scales are some of the challenges of  Yorkshire Wildlife Park's annual animal audit.

When you are a peckish giraffe, a clipboard looks just alike a tasty snack rather than a scientific document.'Behansin decided to tuck in at the annual animal audit at Yorkshire Wildlife Park as staff took the details of all 243 animals from 62 species.'The week-long exercise including challenges such as getting a wriggling worm to keep still and maneuvering a 75-stone polar bear onto heavyweight scales.'Getting a wriggling worm to keep still and maneuvering a 75-stone polar bear onto heavyweight scales are some of the challenges of Yorkshire Wildlife Park's annual animal audit.

Manoeuvring a 75-stone polar bear onto weighing scales was one of the challenges staff had to overcome as they logged the vital statistics of all the creatures in their care.

From stick insects to lions and worms to leopards, every inhabitant at the park was recorded.

Cheryl Williams, a founder director of Yorkshire Wildlife Park, said: “It requires huge effort to get it all done and, obviously, we handle all the animals very carefully when taking their measurements.

“It is a lot of effort but it is also a great experience because it reminds staff of the diversity of our animals and how important it is to help protect these species.

“Most of the animals love the attention and see it as a bit of fun and just when you want them to sit still, it appears the last thing they will do.”

Staff use a variety of weighing scales depending on the animal’s size while the trusty tape measure does most of the work.

They have also devised cunning ways to keep wallabies and lemurs still for their measuring moments.

Mrs Williams added: “The odd treat does come in handy and the staff are experts at getting the job done quickly. Worms are some of the smallest species we have but the trickiest to measure- there is a real art to getting accurate details for them.”

YWP, which has enjoyed record-breaking visitor levels through 2015, has become a key player in international conservation programmes and the audit is part of the International Species Information System, which acts as a central data bank.

The annual official count is required by law.