Whipsnade Zoo's Annual Stocktake

10 January 2012, 14:12

ZSL Whipsnade is the UK's biggest zoo with more than 200 animals. Every year they need to do a stocktake to find out exactly how many they have.

Some animals are not too hard to count- at the moment the zoo has nine elephants.

This is one more than last year as a new baby elephant was born in October.

Also adding to their numbers are some lynx kittens and a baby hippo born in 2011.

Other animals are more difficult to count, one of the senior keepers, Melvin Lear, told Heart how they count the insects:

" A lot of animals we count individually, other things like ants and some amphibians we can't count that way so they go down as a colony" 

Unfortunately for some of their animals numbers are dropping.

One of their four Meerkat’s died last year.

The stock take is a compulsory requirement for the zoo. The figures are put on an international database used to put together breeding programmes.