Staff conduct annual animal audit at Doncaster Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Award-winning park staff used their ingenuity and skill to record the vital stats of every creature large and small, from spider to snake and polar bear to blue-tongued skink lizards.
The measurement program, which is part of a national animal audit, took a full week with the use of treats, sweet cuddles, and the collection of tape measures and scales that ranged from featherweight tarantulas to bears. heavyweight of the Polar project.
“This may be a test of our ingenuity, but the staff are expert in handling the animals and making sure they are comfortable while they take and record their measurements,” said Dr. Charlotte MacDonald, Yorkshire Wildlife Park Animal Director.
Wagging centipedes, which are up to 400 legs each and can grow up to 33cm long, are a challenge at one end of the scale as three-year-old Hamish, the UK’s first born polar bear in 25 years old, presents a heavy task, weighing more than 650 kg and measuring 2.5 meters.
The park is also home to over 25 wallabies of two species – Bennett’s and Swamp Wallabies, both native to Australia – which can grow to just under a meter tall and weigh 18kg.
“It can be difficult to get the wallabies to stay still long enough and the giraffes are obviously a tall order, but the staff are very experienced, efficient and patient,” added Dr. MacDonald.
Every animal of the innovative park’s 57 different species is to be measured and recorded as part of a national program that generates a database of animal information from over 1,100 zoos and organizations across the UK to advance collaboration and conservation.
The data feeds into a global information bank spanning more than 22,000 species and ten million animals, which is critical to conservation efforts.
The task of weighing the animals in the park was made easier by the support of Marsden, the Rotherham-based company that provides equipment and expertise around the world.
“As a proud local Yorkshire-based manufacturing company, Marsden has provided scales and ongoing repair and maintenance services to the wildlife and veterinary industry around the world for 95 years,” said Dr McDonald’s.
“We are delighted that we were able to support Yorkshire Wildlife Park with their annual weigh-in, donating ten scales to cover their full range of animals, from red panda to rhino,” said a spokesperson for Marsden.