Zookeepers have been taking stock of the thousands of animals cared for at Marwell Zoo despite the challenges of being closed to the public because of Covid-19 restrictions.
The annual audit of every mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian fish and invertebrate at the Hampshire zoo is being held as a legal requirements of its licence.
The inventory is then shared around the world via a database designed to ensure the best possible management of worldwide conservation-breeding programmes.
Following the latest Government announcement, it is with a heavy heart that we must close again as of midnight, 4 January 2021.
— Marwell Wildlife (@Marwellwildlife) January 4, 2021
Marwell Zoo is home to more than 2,000 animals from 140 species with new arrivals in 2020 including two Humboldt penguins, Sushi and Squid, which hatched in April.
A critically-endangered black and white ruffed lemur baby named Zephyr was also born in May and Arthur, a critically-endangered mountain bongo calf, arrived in June.
Other newborns included one of the world’s rarest animals, a critically-endangered African wild ass and two Hartmann’s mountain zebra foals.
The zoo also welcomed the arrival of an endangered Amur tiger Valentina which came from Hodonin Zoo, Czech Republic, in December which they hope to be able to breed to help secure the future of the species.
James Cretney, the zoo’s chief executive, said: “It is certainly the most challenging start to a year in the zoo’s history, however beginning the year with our annual animal audit is a chance to reflect on some of our achievements of 2020.
“We have a huge collection of endangered animals at Marwell which all still require the same high standard of compassionate care even though closure has cut off our income.
“With no clear reopening date, we need the help of our supporters, local communities and the public more than ever.”
To support Marwell Zoo during its closure, go to www.justgiving.com/campaign/supportMarwell