A hungry giraffe, wriggling worms and a 75-stone polar bear - all part of annual audit at Yorkshire Wildlife Park

When hunger strikes anything can seem appetising - even a clipboard.

Peckish giraffe Behansin decided to tuck in to the document at the annual animal audit at Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster as staff took the details of all 243 animals from 62 species.

When you are a peckish giraffe, a clipboard looks just alike a tasty snack rather than a scientific document.'Behansin decided to tuck in at the annual animal audit at Yorkshire Wildlife Park as staff took the details of all 243 animals from 62 species.'The week-long exercise including challenges such as getting a wriggling worm to keep still and maneuvering a 75-stone polar bear onto heavyweight scales.'Getting a wriggling worm to keep still and maneuvering a 75-stone polar bear onto heavyweight scales are some of the challenges of  Yorkshire Wildlife Park's annual animal audit.

When you are a peckish giraffe, a clipboard looks just alike a tasty snack rather than a scientific document.'Behansin decided to tuck in at the annual animal audit at Yorkshire Wildlife Park as staff took the details of all 243 animals from 62 species.'The week-long exercise including challenges such as getting a wriggling worm to keep still and maneuvering a 75-stone polar bear onto heavyweight scales.'Getting a wriggling worm to keep still and maneuvering a 75-stone polar bear onto heavyweight scales are some of the challenges of Yorkshire Wildlife Park's annual animal audit.

The week-long exercise including challenges such as getting a wriggling worm to keep still and manoeuvring a 75-stone polar bear onto heavyweight scales.

Staff at the award-winning park spend a week with their tape measures and an array of scales in the run up to New Year to get the vital statistics of all creatures great and small.

From stick insects to lions and from worms to leopards, every inhabitant at the innovative park had their tale of the tape moment in the painstaking exercise.

Cheryl Williams, founder director of YWP, said: “It requires huge effort to get it all done and, obviously, we handle all the animals very carefully when taking their measurements.

When you are a peckish giraffe, a clipboard looks just alike a tasty snack rather than a scientific document.'Behansin decided to tuck in at the annual animal audit at Yorkshire Wildlife Park as staff took the details of all 243 animals from 62 species.'The week-long exercise including challenges such as getting a wriggling worm to keep still and maneuvering a 75-stone polar bear onto heavyweight scales.'Getting a wriggling worm to keep still and maneuvering a 75-stone polar bear onto heavyweight scales are some of the challenges of  Yorkshire Wildlife Park's annual animal audit.

When you are a peckish giraffe, a clipboard looks just alike a tasty snack rather than a scientific document.'Behansin decided to tuck in at the annual animal audit at Yorkshire Wildlife Park as staff took the details of all 243 animals from 62 species.'The week-long exercise including challenges such as getting a wriggling worm to keep still and maneuvering a 75-stone polar bear onto heavyweight scales.'Getting a wriggling worm to keep still and maneuvering a 75-stone polar bear onto heavyweight scales are some of the challenges of Yorkshire Wildlife Park's annual animal audit.

“It is a lot of effort but it is also a great experience because it reminds staff of the diversity of our animals and how important it is to help protect these species.

“Most of the animals love the attention and see it as a bit of fun and just when you want them to sit still, it appears the last thing they will do.”

Staff use a variety of weighing scales depending on the animal’s size while the trusty tape measure does most of the work.

They have also devised cunning ways to keep wallabies and lemurs still for their measuring moments.

When you are a peckish giraffe, a clipboard looks just alike a tasty snack rather than a scientific document.'Behansin decided to tuck in at the annual animal audit at Yorkshire Wildlife Park as staff took the details of all 243 animals from 62 species.'The week-long exercise including challenges such as getting a wriggling worm to keep still and maneuvering a 75-stone polar bear onto heavyweight scales.'Getting a wriggling worm to keep still and maneuvering a 75-stone polar bear onto heavyweight scales are some of the challenges of  Yorkshire Wildlife Park's annual animal audit.

When you are a peckish giraffe, a clipboard looks just alike a tasty snack rather than a scientific document.'Behansin decided to tuck in at the annual animal audit at Yorkshire Wildlife Park as staff took the details of all 243 animals from 62 species.'The week-long exercise including challenges such as getting a wriggling worm to keep still and maneuvering a 75-stone polar bear onto heavyweight scales.'Getting a wriggling worm to keep still and maneuvering a 75-stone polar bear onto heavyweight scales are some of the challenges of Yorkshire Wildlife Park's annual animal audit.

Mrs Williams added: “The odd treat does come in handy and the staff are experts at getting the job done quickly. Worms are some of the smallest species we have but the trickiest to measure- there is a real art to getting accurate details for them.”

YWP, which has enjoyed record-breaking visitor levels through 2015, has become a key player in international conservation programmes and the audit is part of the International Species Information System, which acts as a central data bank.

The annual official count is required by law, but rangers also log the fulls statistics of the range of animals that call the park home.

The park said the census presents a variety of challenges for the rangers – with patience and ingenuity needed to weigh everything from a troop of lemurs to heavyweight polar bear Victor, who tips his special scales at about 1,058lbs.

When you are a peckish giraffe, a clipboard looks just alike a tasty snack rather than a scientific document.'Behansin decided to tuck in at the annual animal audit at Yorkshire Wildlife Park as staff took the details of all 243 animals from 62 species.'The week-long exercise including challenges such as getting a wriggling worm to keep still and maneuvering a 75-stone polar bear onto heavyweight scales.'Getting a wriggling worm to keep still and maneuvering a 75-stone polar bear onto heavyweight scales are some of the challenges of  Yorkshire Wildlife Park's annual animal audit.

When you are a peckish giraffe, a clipboard looks just alike a tasty snack rather than a scientific document.'Behansin decided to tuck in at the annual animal audit at Yorkshire Wildlife Park as staff took the details of all 243 animals from 62 species.'The week-long exercise including challenges such as getting a wriggling worm to keep still and maneuvering a 75-stone polar bear onto heavyweight scales.'Getting a wriggling worm to keep still and maneuvering a 75-stone polar bear onto heavyweight scales are some of the challenges of Yorkshire Wildlife Park's annual animal audit.

Simon Marsh, YWP’s animal development manager, said: “Not many people like getting on the scales, particularly after Christmas, and animals are no different.

“It is difficult to get them to stay still for the measurements to be taken and, for animals like Victor the polar bear, it is tricky to find the right technique to weigh them.

“But we have to weigh and measure all of them no matter how big or small.”

The official inventory is required by law under the Zoo Licensing Act and for the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The park has a species list stretching from African hunting dogs to yellow mongoose, baboons, stick insects, snails and giant anteaters - and each presents a challenge to staff.

The lemurs are notoriously skittish and cannot stop playing even when they are being measured – preferring to huddle together on the scales or jump off before the details can be logged.

Crunchie was one of the few who would sit still long enough to have his weight recorded and staff discovered he had got slightly heavier from 2.33kg to 2.34kg over the last year. His friend Casper, a black and white ruffed lemur, weighed in at 3.87kg.

Squirrel monkey Dylan was a healthy 1.02kg while anteater Kounany registered 29kg on the scales.

Two mature lions were a more muscular 273kg and 242kg respectively and young Drake, an endangered Amur leopard, has reached 60.5kg.

Victor, who moved into his new 10-acre home in August, is a mighty 75 stones.

Simon said: “It can be fun, but it is a long, painstaking process. It is one of the more unusual annual stock takes around. One moment you are trying to measure giraffes and the next trying to deal with fun-loving meerkats, lemurs or squirrel monkeys.”

The results from the annual audit will be submitted to the International Species Information System, which contains statistics on thousands of endangered species and the data is shared across the world.