How Do You Measure A Snake?

27 December 2018, 12:43 | Updated: 27 December 2018, 12:53

YWP snake

Every animal from bugs to beasts are getting measured and weighed at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

It's part of their annual audit.

From millipedes to meerkats and lions to leeches, all 600-plus animals have had their vital statistics noted down as part of a national monitoring programme.

Staff and rangers had their hands full as they worked out ingenious methods to take the pinpoint measurements.

They used tasty treats, and purpose designed devices to weigh and measure.


YWP armadillo

The smallest bug was just a few milligrams, where as Victor the polar bear tipped the scales at more than 600 kilos, more than a family car.

"It really is a challenge that requires a lot of ingenuity and patience," said Debbie Porter, animal manager of the park, at Branton, near Doncaster.

"It can be tough getting the wallabies to stay still long enough and giraffes are obviously a tall order but the staff are very experienced and efficient."

YWP giraffe

There is a very serious point to the animal audit and annual stocktake.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park is one of 1,100+ zoos, aquariums and other wildlife member organizations involving over 1,100 animal care professionals use the ZIMS (Zoological Information Management Software) to help them achieve best practice animal management and conservation goals.

The aim of the shared database is to advance global collaboration and information sharing for zoos around the world to help further the knowledge of animal populations and share vital species information.

The information is integrated into a master database that includes millions of records on more than 22,000 species and ten million individual animals.