Wallabies weighed and centipedes measured for wildlife park animal counts

From weighing wallabies to measuring centipedes, staff at Yorkshire Wildlife Park have carried out their annual animal count.

It took a week to record all the vital statistics of the park’s 57 species for the measurement program, which is part of a national animal audit.

The task of measuring park animals involved using lots of treats and gentle coaxing to collect accurate numbers for their height, length and weight.

The animals measured ranged from centipedes, which have up to 400 legs each and can reach 33cm in length, to three-year-old Hamish, the first polar bear born in the UK for 25 years who weighed over 650kg and was two and a half meters high.

Hamish, three, is the first polar bear to be born in the UK for 25 years (YWP/PA)

zoo keeper weighs a sea lion
Treats were used to coax animals onto the scales (YWP/PA)

The park is also home to over 25 wallabies which all had to be measured by rangers.

The two species are the Bennett’s and swamp wallabies, both of which are native to Australia and can grow to just under a meter tall and weigh around 18 kg.

Charlotte MacDonald, Animal Manager at Yorkshire Wildlife Park, said: ‘It may be a test of our ingenuity, but the staff are expert at handling the animals and making sure they are comfortable while they are take and record their measurements.

Staff member measuring wallabies
The wallabies were all measured by keepers (YWP/PA)

Measure a centipede
Centipedes in the park have up to 400 legs each and can reach 33 cm in length (YWP/PA)

“It can be difficult to get the wallabies to stay still long enough and the giraffes are obviously a tall order, but the staff are very experienced, efficient and patient.”

Every animal in the park, in Cantley, South Yorkshire, had to be measured under a national scheme which generates a database of animal information from over 1,100 zoos and organizations across the UK to advance collaboration and conservation.

The data feeds a global bank of information covering more than 22,000 species and 10 million animals, which is essential for conservation efforts.

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