Zookeepers are using pens of a different kind as they start their annual animal count.
It is that time of year again when staff at Drusillas Park, near Alfriston, commence on the biggest job of the zoo calendar – counting each and every animal for the new year stocktake.
Claudia Perryman, pictured, senior keeper, is overseeing the task for the first time and certainly has her work cut out.
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With more than 1,000 animals and 116 different species, the stocktaking process can take several days.
Counting some of the smaller creatures also takes a great deal of patience and plenty of doublechecking.
Claudia said: “It’s important to make sure our figures add up for all the animals in the zoo, so as well as counting the monkeys, we even have to count the invertebrates including stick insects and cockroaches too.”
Included for the first time will be the zoo’s new additions, which include two red pandas and a raft of babies including silvery marmosets, Humboldt penguin chicks, and a rare black lemur baby.