Posted January 19, 2021 in News
Our animals can COUNT on us to continue to care for them!
2020 was an unusual and difficult year for us all, but despite the many closures of our gates, life for our Animal Care Team and the amazing animals they care for remained as usual.
With nature continuing we said a sad goodbye to some old friends, hello to new arrivals from other collections and welcomed many amazing new-borns from endangered species to family favourites.
As we head into 2021 the uncertainty for the zoos future remains but the Animal Care Team have been busy behind the closed gates taking on the mammoth annual task of counting all the residents of Colchester Zoo as part of our yearly stock take which is a requirement of our zoo license.
From mammals to birds, fish, reptiles, and insects, all must be counted!
Of course, whilst the teams counting the larger mammals may have an easy task counting their charges, others find it a little more difficult! For this reason, many of our fish, bird and insect species are counted as 1 group rather than as individuals, as these small and quick moving animals can be quite tricky to count and they would be there for hours maybe days trying to count them!
The numbers are in from 2020’s stock take with a difference! The total number of species at Colchester Zoo is made up of the following:
This equates to over 1,000 individual animals plus colonies and groups of fish, reptiles, and other smaller species, with just over 100 new-borns in 2020 – that’s a lot of mouths to feed!
Within this number we welcomed some amazing new species to Colchester Zoo in 2020 including our Large Hairy Armadillos Allie & Gomez, a beautiful Wreathed hornbill and some amazing reptiles from Madagascar such as Madagascan Swift lizards and Day geckos!
The number of White rhinos that call Colchester Zoo home also increased in 2020 with the arrival of not one but two calves, Lottie and Tayo. We also welcomed 4 adorable cheetah cubs who we proudly named in honour of the NHS, a large number of primate babies, Fijian iguana hatchlings and a Ruppel’s griffon vulture chick fledged! This names just a few of the many new arrivals we were lucky enough to welcome due to successful breeding programmes here at the zoo!
Whilst many species saw the arrival of the next generation, other species have lost long standing family members such as our chimpanzee family with the sad passing of Tekita, mum to Tumba and Talia and our Lion pride losing lioness Malika – these personalities are missed everyday but will never be forgotten.
As the count is now complete our Animal Care Team and Animal Records Department will work together to collate all the final figures and submit the data to a central database as well as to the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA).
Despite the zoo gates remaining closed and no regular income for now, nature continues and our dedicated Animal Care Team are here every day ensuring all the animals are well cared for as usual.
There are a number of ways you can help Colchester Zoo during this difficult time.Find out more here.