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Staff at Newquay Zoo take on their biggest job of the year - counting all the animals

'I spy two lemurs' - staff taking part in the annual animal stock check at Newquay Zoo. Credit: Newquay Zoo

It really is a case of 'All Creatures Great and Small'.

Staff at Newquay Zoo have been taking on their biggest job of the zoo calendar – counting every animal in their collection.

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There are quite a few new animals to include for 2019, like Lien, an endangered Owston’s civet, Belle, a critically endangered Philippine spotted deer, seven new youngsters in the penguin pool, and Nofy a cute and mischievous crowned lemur.

Nofy was born in May 2019 and has been charming his keepers ever since. Credit: Newquay Zoo

Zoo experts keep detailed records of animal births, deaths, arrivals and departures through the year. In addition, the annual headcount is completed each January as a requirement of zoo licensing.

There were seven new youngsters at the Penguin pool in 2019. Credit: ITV West Country

Newquay Zoo's head keeper says the stock check can be quite difficult at times.

We have 1,365 animals at Newquay Zoo, so this is a pretty big task. Our Birds and Lower Vertebrates and Invertebrates sections are the hardest, as there are a lot of smaller creatures like frogs, lizards and bugs – they can be tricky, you have to check under every last rock and leaf!

Even the larger animals, like the zebras, can be mischievous and make your eyes go funny after several counts.

– Dave Rich, Head keeper

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The Cornish zoo uses a computer system called ZIMS – the Zoological Information Management System - which brings together collection information, studbook data and veterinary records.

It can then be used by organisations such as the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums to help manage conservation projects and breeding programmes.

All things bright and beautiful - one of more than 1,300 residents being counted at Newquay Zoo. Credit: ITV West Country

Keepers say they hope to be as busy as ever with animal births in 2020 - with new arrivals to look forward to in next year's count.