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Surveillance technology helps protect zoo animals


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It’s not just people who can benefit from security technology – zoo animals can too.

The Beauval ZooPark in Saint Aignan sur cher France looked to technology to help look after their animals, including sea-lions and a recent panda mother as well as her cubs.

The zoo is ranked fourth most beautiful in the world and looks after more than 35,000 animals on 40 hectares. When the time came to revamp their systems in the Park, they turned to systems integrator SRTC, who used Hikvision cameras for the task.

Caring for animals efficiently

The zoo wanted to streamline their care of the animals, specifically to help monitor sea-lions and pandas.

Keepers needed to be able to monitor the sea-lions 24 hours a day. They wanted to keep an eye on their rest times and their meals specifically. They needed to be able to see the animals wherever they were in their pen, which sometimes means peering into dark corners.

Monitoring of the pandas also took on a different aspect, with one of the pandas recently giving birth to twin cubs. This was a joyful moment at the zoo, since although pandas are no longer officially endangered, they are still classified as vulnerable.

In fact, the team had to wait until after the birth to install the cameras, since the zoo did not want to disturb the mother. Now, they need to keep an eye on the new-borns and parts of the panda enclosure have poor lighting, so the cameras used needed to provide excellent low-light imaging to counter this.

Detailed, colourful images 24/7

For the sea lions, SRTC installed 4 MP ColorVu Fixed Turret Network Cameras (DS-2CD2347G2); simple and effective. The ColorVu technology provides a clear colour image without disturbing the animals. It’s ideal for the medium focal range needed in the sea lions’ enclosure. 12MP Fisheye cameras (DS-2CD63C5) were also installed to provide a view of their entire resting area.

The pandas required a more intensive monitoring, so PTZ 32X DarkFighterX IR Network Speed Domes (DS-2DF5232X-AE3(T5)). DarkFighter X technology delivers a full colour image over long distances even in very low light conditions, down to 0.0005 lux. This makes it possible to identify the animals more precisely, allowing the vets to monitor care, diet and activity, amongst other things.

The high optical zoom PTZs make it possible to search for the smallest details on moving technical installations.

An added bonus for the Zoo in the project was cameras to keep an eye on the cable car system used in the Zoo. The 24-car system takes up to 21,000 visitors daily 780 meters across the zoo.

Hikvision cameras installed into the system can help the operators see how many people take the cable car every day. This helps with planning. It also helps them to verify that there are no people or obstructions on the lines, so they can safely start operation in the morning.

Sylvain Spodar, Information Systems Director at the Beauval ZooPark, said: “We are pleased with our new system which allows us to keep an eye on the animals more efficiently.

“Our animal carers are delighted with this qualitative evolution of the images they can get and the new cameras help them daily in their work.”

The initial project was the renovation of the video security system in 2020. The team succeeded in identifying other technologies and gradually deploying them in the ZooPark. As well as cameras, this included HikCentral video management software and three NVRs, which together control all the cameras centrally and also provides video wall management and business intelligence.

Click here to find out more about Hikvision low-light imaging.

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