All the animals at Dudley Zoo and Castle need to be counted during the annual stocktake.
At the start of every year, all zoos in the country have to legally tot up every invertebrate, bird, mammal, reptile and amphibian living on their sites – which can be an easier task for some keepers than others.
And for the first time, the week-long count is being overseen by Dudley Zoo and Castle's registrar Nicola Wright, who will collate and input all the collected data into the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS) – a worldwide comprehensive database of animal health and wellbeing – before submitting a full report to the local authority.
Ms Wright, said: “We have more than 1,600 animals on site, including more than 500 mammals, 300 birds and 600 invertebrates.
“Keepers all know how many animals they care for on a daily basis, but we have to officially confirm it in our yearly inventory, so the census is really just a confirmation exercise as part of the zoo licensing.
“This year we do have a number of new arrivals being counted by Dudley Zoo and Castle for the first time from births on site or animals being brought in from other collections including a Colombian black spider monkey, six Barbary sheep, an Asian palm civet, two Six banded Armadillos, a Victoria crowned pigeon and eight poison dart frogs.”
Animals are identified through various methods including microchips, ear tags, body markings, flipper bands and foot rings which correspond to their individual ZIMS records.