“We’re using physiological bio-markers in poo samples; so a non-invasive method, no disturbance to the animal,” explained Dr Danielle Gilroy, a researcher at Chester Zoo.
“We’re trying to develop these bio-markers that — through the poo — we can see how stressed the animals are, what condition they are, their individual health, are they reproducing — all these different factors basically indicate their fitness,” she continued.
The project, which was labelled “saving species with faeces” by the team, has a strong emphasis on studying the critically endangered black rhinoceros which hails from Kenya.
The £1.1 million (€1.23 million) joint initiative aims to promote natural reproduction among endangered species.
The zoo has been successful in breeding critically endangered species, having bred eastern black rhinos for several years.
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