It’s a heavyweight weigh-in for Victor and Pixel the Polar bears at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s annual audit
Victor stepped onto the scales to record a healthy 621 kilos while Pixel came in at 525 kilos as part of the task to chart the vital statistics of more than 600 animals. Staff needed everything from micro devices to industrial weighing machines to get the tale of the tape on the unique collection of animals at the award-winning park. From insects and tiny reptiles to heavyweight rhinos and polar bears, they all had to have their measurements taken in the animal audit.
Tasty treats and improvised weighing scales were employed by the clever rangers and their staff as they spent a week on the audit. “It can be a test of our ingenuity but the staff are experts at handling the animals and making sure they are comfortable while they take the measurements,” said Debbie Porter Animal Manager of the park at Branton, near Doncaster. Staff used a variety of weighing scales, measuring during the week-long process.
They also needed tasty treats always to entice some of the rare creatures for their measuring moments. “The staff know the animals well and are experts at making each creature comfortable so the job gets done calmly and efficiently,” added Debbie. The park is home to a wide range of species and just some of the animals getting their measurements taken included giant otters Mora and Alexandra, cheeky squirrel monkeys, insects including snails and cockroaches, six banded-armadillos and closely related to the guinea pig, capybaras. The insects were weighed on tiny scales fit for purpose whilst the bigger animals were enticed with their favourite snacks.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park brings visitors almost face to face with some of the world’s most beautiful and rare species, including Amur Leopards and Tigers, Giraffes, Meerkats and Lions.
YWP and the Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation are key players in international conservation programmes and the audit is part of the International Species Information System, which acts as a central data bank of all animals.
YWP, the UK’s fastest growing and most innovative wildlife attraction, is open every day from New Year.