Zoo Watch: Whipsnade weigh-in for zoo animals

Zoo Watch: Last years weigh-in at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Zoo Watch: Last years weigh-in at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Credit: Archant

Animals will take part in the great Whipsnade weigh-in next week.

Zoo Watch: Last years weigh-in at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Zoo Watch: Last years weigh-in at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Credit: Archant

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo's 3,500 animals including bears, lemurs and rhinos will step onto the scales on Tuesday (August 20).

As part of their regular check-ups, all creatures great and small will have their vital statistics recorded as a way of keeping track of their health.

Greater one-horned rhinoceros Hugo, one of the heaviest animals at the zoo, will be stepping onto an industrial sized scale for keepers to record his weight, while the zoo's tiny baby Desertas wolf spiderlings, one of the world's most endangered species of spider, require extra sensitive equipment to weigh them accurately.

The zoo's brand-new aquarium presents a fun new challenge for keepers, who will don their wetsuits and dive in to measure up some of the Aquarium's 300 new scale-y inhabitants.

You may also want to watch:

All the information will be saved on a database, Species360, which helps zookeepers around the world compare information on thousands of endangered species.

Zoological manager Matthew Webb said: "All of our animals at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo are weighed and measured regularly, but the annual weigh-in is an opportunity to review the information we've recorded, and ensure it is up-to-date and accurate.

Most Read

"With so many animals with different personalities, the zookeepers have to come up with creative tactics to entice them onto the scales, from luring Northern rockhopper penguins onto scales in exchange for their favourite fishy snacks, to encouraging our European brown bears to stand up at their impressive full height next to a giant ruler for a veggie reward."

As well as a key gauge of the animals' well-being, keepers can use the regular weight checks and waist measurements to identify pregnant animals, many of which are endangered species that form part of the zoo's international conservation breeding programmes.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus