Staff at the UK’s largest zoo have begun the mammoth task of counting nearly 10,000 animals in their annual stocktake.
Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire is home to more than 9,500 animals, which need to be audited on an yearly basis as a stipulation of the park’s licence.
Among the animals involved in the count for the first time is Nandi, born last year, who was one of seven animals in the zoo’s crash of southern white rhinos.
Also new to the count are a number of recently born baby chameleons, as well as a selection of extinct-in-the-wild freshwater fish which have been bred at the zoo.
The information gathered from both counts will be shared with zoos around the world via the Zoological Information Management System database.
Mr Webb said: “The numbers are used to plan the conservation breeding programmes for endangered species.”