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No sign of an Ark but the animals are being counted two by two at Colchester Zoo!

in Animals
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2015 is here which means it’s time for the annual stock take! At the beginning of the year zoos worldwide must take on the almighty task of counting each animal within their care. This is something we must complete as part of compliance with zoo legislation which requires us to confirm precise records of every animal birth, death, arrival and departure at the zoo. We also submit our data to the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA). It’s important that we submit data to these central databases; they can run detailed and scientifically-based breeding programmes to safeguard these valuable and threatened species in captivity.

Since the New Year began our keepers have been busy counting and with so many new residents in 2014 it is a fantastic chance to look back and remember our favourite arrivals and births from the year!

When totalling up our animals we have over 2800 individuals! This of course includes everything from our fish, corals and insects in their hundreds to our larger more unmissable animals such as our elephants and giraffe and also suggests an increase of just over 450 individuals in our collection!

Some of our more memorable births include our remarkable success in breeding our Komodo dragons Mutu and Telu; with over 20 healthy hatchlings so far this is a great opportunity for Colchester Zoo to contribute to the breeding programme. Our first successful hatchling, Curu, and four other of our young dragons can currently be seen in our 'Worlds Apart' exhibit.

komodo

Of course who can forget our largest addition to the collection…Mabaso the white rhino calf! Born in the summer of 2014 he was a welcome addition to our rhino crash, a play mate for our other youngster Pembe and of course a male who can one day play a vital role in helping the survival of his endangered species.

rhino-frog

As well as the largest arrival there was also the smallest in the hatching of a tiny Golden poison dart froglet with an adult frog averaging no more than 2.5cms in length! This was Colchester Zoo’s first success in breeding these frogs and something we hope will continue in the future!

flamingo

Another breeding success that Colchester Zoo has not seen in many years was that of a flamingo chick! This chick was lovingly hand reared by keepers before being re-introduced to the flock with its pink feathers soon to develop!

The final birth of 2014 and our latest arrival is our aardvark baby! Born just before Christmas this little one has been keeping warm in the burrow with mum as the cold winter days continue!

aardvark-meerkat

We can’t forget the regulars who each year produce healthy offspring and continue to safe guard their species, these include our adorable meerkat pups, otter pup, and many of our smaller primate species!

It’s not just births that have added to the numbers of this year’s stock take, it’s also the arrival of new animals and species!

Our Kingdom of the Wild paddock had quite a few new additions in 2014 including a herd of Maneless Zebra, a male ostrich to join our two females and the magnificent male kudu whose spiral horns make him stand out from the crowd!

ostrich-kudu

We also welcomed some more feathery friends to our new ‘Australian Rainbows’ exhibit, the rainbow lorikeets were more than happy to line up and be counted by keeper Laura!

lorikeets

Another more recent arrival is a female Darwin’s rhea, this not very well known bird, has joined our male in the familiar friends section and it is hoped we have breeding success with the pair in the future!

We hope 2015 will be another successful year for all the species here at Colchester Zoo and with the help of our visitor's funds, we hope to continue to undertake breeding programmes for endangered species and fund ex-situ projects in the wild by working hand in hand with our charity Action for the Wild.

Hand-in-Hand

OPENING TIMES

5.00pm close or dusk if earlier
Last admission to zoo grounds at 4.00pm

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