Annual stocktake at Hellabrunn Zoo: Figures and facts

As with all companies, Hellabrunn Zoo also conducts an annual stocktake at the end of the year. The annual stocktake for 2016 concluded that 18,992 animals and 758 species currently reside at Hellabrunn.

Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn / Marc Mueller

Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn / Marc Mueller

What in theory sounds easy can be quite challenging in practice. Not all the animals were equally cooperative during the stocktake at the zoo. While the five elephants were counted and weighed relatively quickly, the Seba's short-tailed bats fluttered incessantly around the Bat Cave and the neon tetra fish all look one like the other – so how can anyone keep track? For this reason, the numbers for animals that are constantly in motion can only be estimated. In the case of shoaling fish in the aquarium, for example, only a section of the tank is observed for counting, from which the entire population is estimated. Rock penguins, on the other hand, are lured with the help of food and weighed a normal scale. They usually weigh between three and four kilos.

There were no major surprises in this year's stocktake at Hellabrunn Zoo. "Naturally a penguin can't be found to have gone missing only after a stocktake at the end of the year," says curator Carsten Zehrer. "Every day the keepers record all births, deaths, departures and new arrivals of each species. The total figures are then entered in the daily report." The annual stocktake at the end of the year, along with the assessment of all the daily reports, provide the figures for the animal inventory summary, which will be incorporated in the annual report, and subsequently published in the management report released each summer. The data will also be recorded in a global database for zoo animals.

Hellabrunn Zoo is one of the most diverse zoos in Europe. The zoo is home to 758 different species, including many highly endangered animals. "As part of the Hellabrunn Zoo Master Plan, which includes raising awareness of the importance of biodiversity, the development of the zoo will place a special focus on the care of endangered species," says zoo director Rasem Baban. "These animals, which the visitor can experience in aesthetically pleasing, naturalistic enclosures, are ambassadors for their fellow species threatened in the wild." With the completion of the second construction phase of the Polar World in summer 2017 and the start of construction work on the new Mühlendorf village at the beginning of the year, two additional milestones of the Master Plan, which offers educational features for visitors as well as strengthens the zoo's educational mission, will have been achieved. 

Hellabrunn Zoo animal inventory (Dated: 31.12.2016):

Mammals:           906 in 101 species

Birds:                   653 in 85 species

Reptiles:             421 in 43 species

Amphibians:      127 in 8 species

Fish:                     ca. 9,020 in 301 species

Insects:                ca. 2,000 in 25 species

Arachnids:           65 in 7 species

Other invertebrates: ca. 5,800 in 188 species

Total stock of animals at Hellabrunn Zoo: 18,992 animals in 758 species

The tallest, heaviest, oldest animals at Hellabrun Zoo

The tallest animal:          Limber the giraffe has a height of 4.15 m

The heaviest animal:      Mangala the female elephant tips the scales at 3,780 kg

The longest animal:        The biggest female anaconda is 6.2 m long

The smallest animal:      The assassin snail is only ca. 0.3 to 0.4 cm long

The oldest animal:          The Seychelles giant tortoise is a little over 100 years old

The last animal born in 2016: Quadhi, a Nyala calf, was born on 28 December 2016