Continuing with its tradition, the London Zoo, which houses about 300 different species, recently began its annual headcount of the park's animals. As part of the exercise, employees at the zoo are tasked with tallying up every mammal, bird, reptile, fish and invertebrate at the zoo. The count of all the animals usually takes about a week to complete.
Our annual stocktake is a chance to reflect on all the amazing births & arrivals over the past year! From a Western lowland gorilla and Sumatran tiger cubs to penguin chicks and pygmy goats. See who you can spot on your next visit! https://t.co/EQEGNYOIABpic.twitter.com/EHsvGeUeXo— ZSL London Zoo (@zsllondonzoo) January 8, 2023
The information is then shared with other zoos around the world via a database called ZIMS, where it's used to help manage worldwide conservation breeding programmes for endangered species.
On January 3, the zoo also shared a video of its staff trying to keep a count of animals. The adorable video showed animals, birds and fishes chilling while the staff counted them and put a tick mark on their checklist.
Watch the video here:
The video got over 20,000 likes on Instagram, and users loved the cute clip. A user commented, "Looks like a very tricky job in some cases, but what a fun one". Another wrote, '' How do I get training working at a zoo.'' A third wrote, '' I love this story every year. But always wonder who gets stuck counting the leaf-cutter ants?''
In 2022, the zoo got plenty of new additions including a critically endangered Western lowland gorilla named Kiburi, Sumatran tiger cubs Zac and Crispin, and 10 Humboldt chicks that hatched on Penguin Beach, according to the zoo website.
In a statement given to the London Zoo blog, Dan Simmonds, operations manager at the zoo, said, "With more than 14,000 to count at ZSL London Zoo, our keepers all have their own ways of tallying up the animals in their care - from taking pictures of the coral tank in Tiny Giants to avoid counting the same fish twice, to using training and rewards to count larger groups such as our squirrel monkeys and Humboldt penguins."
He added, "The stocktake is also a chance to reflect on all the amazing births and arrivals we've celebrated over the past 12 months, and always makes for a busy start to the year!"