Keeping The Record Straight

Identification of our animals is vitally important.

There are many times a vet or keeper will need to single out a specific animal in an enclosure:

• To monitor the health and behaviour of their animals

• To give them medicine or treatment

• To make sure the right animals are mixed together, or moved to other zoos

But, how do you spot animals in a crowd, especially if they all look very similar? The vets and the keepers have four tricks...

Animal Identification Techniques - Chester Zoo

Once the animal is positively identified the animal staff can access its records. Very quickly the vets can see details of weights, previous illnesses, anaesthetics and medications given.

This is used alongside husbandry information to help us manage the animals. Just like our own medical records, the animals’ medical notes follow them wherever they go.

Heads or tails?

Our vets and keepers use the tail markings to identify our cheetahs from a distance.

Could you identify the cheetahs from their natural patterns?

This is Matrah, one of our cheetahs.

Matrah - Cheetah at Chester Zoo