Zoo Watch: Remarkable footage of deer’s night-time behaviour

PUBLISHED: 11:04 23 January 2017

Fallow deer seen at night on cameras at Whipsnade Zoo.

Fallow deer seen at night on cameras at Whipsnade Zoo.

Archant

New motion sensitive camera traps have revealed for the first time what animals get up to after dark at Whipsnade Zoo.

Fallow deer seen at night on cameras at Whipsnade Zoo.Fallow deer seen at night on cameras at Whipsnade Zoo.

Keepers installed the cameras, identical to those used around the world by ZSL’s field conservation teams, to allow them to remotely observe the zoo’s herd of fallow deer.

Detecting movement within a 30ft range, the cameras recorded the night-time activity of the herd as they grazed and roamed through their 80-acre paddock, Passage through Asia, which visitors can drive-through during the day.

As the time is logged whenever the cameras are triggered, zookeepers were able to use the technology to learn more about the deer’s night-time activity and behaviour.

Zookeeper Donovan Glyn said: “These images are not only fascinating for us to see, but extremely useful as they allow us to observe what the animals do when we’re not here.

Fallow deer seen at night on cameras at Whipsnade Zoo.Fallow deer seen at night on cameras at Whipsnade Zoo.

“We regularly update and change the way we look after the animals to ensure we’re always providing the best care and we’ll use the information gleaned from our night-time observations to devise new feeding and enrichment programmes for the fallow deer.

“While this is the first time we’ve used the camera traps to monitor our deer at Whipsnade, ZSL’s conservationists already make great use of camera traps to track wild animals, particularly in remote or difficult-to-access locations.”

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