Volunteers get to grips with the attraction’s annual count up – hissing cockroaches anyone...?

Exmoor Zoo mammal keeper Robyn Clark makes plenty of new friends during the annual stock take.	Picture: John HammondExmoor Zoo mammal keeper Robyn Clark makes plenty of new friends during the annual stock take. Picture: John Hammond

Exmoor Zoo staff have been busy cataloguing every mammal, reptile, bird and creepy crawlie in the attraction’s annual stock take.

The zoo has to keep updated records and pass them on once a year to the International Species Information System (ISIS).

So while the gift shop staff have a fairly easy task rounding up plastic and toy animals, outside the keeps have a wrigglier job on their hands with bugs, snakes, spiders and other delights.

“Every animal in the zoo needs to be counted and categorised as a male or female, adult or juvenile,” said director Lynn Reynolds.

That's one counted at least...  John HammondThat's one counted at least... John Hammond

“This is very straight forward for some of our animals. Two tapirs – check! Three cheetahs – check! Madagascar hissing cockroaches – maybe we will leave the counting to our enthusiastic volunteers…”