Exotic creatures great and small have had their vital statistics recorded as part of a painstaking, week-long audit at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
Staff were put to the test when persuading two black rhinos to stand still so they could be weighed. The pair, named Hodari and Dayo and both aged two, were reported to have displayed great calm as they tipped the scales at 3,000lbs - the same weight as a family estate car.
The critically endangered rhinos were involved in the legally-obliged annual audit for the first time. The creatures only arrived at the 100-acre park at Branton near Doncaster from Holland earlier this year and after an anticipated growth spurt as they settle into their new purpose-built reserve, they are expected to weigh even more by next year’s exercise.
Some 464 animals from 80 species were measured and weighed, from beetles and lizards to giraffes and tigers as part of the audit.
Simon Marsh, the attraction’s animal collection manager, said: “Getting the vital statistics of so many varied species takes a log of planning and ingenuity but the staff are experts at doing it quickly and efficiently.
“The audit is a great opportunity to take stock of what conservation means as we focus on all the animals and the importance of making sure their species are with us into the future.”
Amur tiger cubs Hector, Harley and Hope gave staff the run around their nine-acre reserve before having their details logged, and treats were needed to entice some creatures to have their measurements taken, particularly the park’s six-banded armadillo which was curled up in a ball.
All the details are logged with the International Species Information System which holds data on all the nation’s wildlife park and zoo populations.