Colchester Zoo welcomes more than 100 new-borns in annual 'stock-take'
- Credit: Colchester Zoo
Life may have been put on hold outside the doors of Colchester Zoo in 2020, but it was business as usual for its animal care team who welcomed many amazing new-borns.
Colchester Zoo has been busy counting its animals two-by-two for its big 'stock-take', to ensure all of its animals are accounted for as we enter the new year.
The animal care team is responsible for taking on the mammoth task of counting all the residents of Colchester Zoo every year, as it is a requirement of its zoo licence.
From mammals to birds, fish, reptiles and insects, all must be counted.
So how many are there?
- 69 mammals
- 55 fish
- 21 birds
- 34 reptiles
- 19 invertebrates
- 8 amphibians
Whilst it is quite easy for the teams to count the larger mammals, others are more difficult.
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That's why many of the zoo's fish, bird and insect species are counted as one group rather than as individuals, as these small and quick moving animals can be quite tricky to count.
This means Colchester Zoo has more than 1,000 individual animals plus colonies and groups of fish, reptiles and other smaller species on site.
They also welcomed just over 100 new-borns in 2020, including their large hairy armadillos Allie and 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.
Meanwhile, four adorable cheetah cubs - who were proudly named in the honour of the NHS - were born at the site in Maldon Road, along with Fijan iguana hatchlings.
This names just a few of the many new arrivals Colchester Zoo was lucky enough to welcome due to successful breeding programmes.
However, whilst there have been a number of exciting new arrivals, the zoo has also experienced some sad losses of longstanding residents.
A spokesman for the zoo said: "These personalities are missed everyday but will never be forgotten."
As the count is now complete the zoo's 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 the dedicated Animal Care Team are on site every day ensuring all the animals are well cared for as usual.
For information about how you can help support Colchester Zoo during this challenging time please visit their website.