Nearly 600 different species counted at London Zoo annual stocktake

2 January 2020, 14:31 | Updated: 2 January 2020, 16:08

Almost 600 species have been counted
Almost 600 species have been counted. Picture: PA
Maddie Goodfellow

By Maddie Goodfellow

Zookeepers at London Zoo have conducted the annual headcount of every mammal, bird, reptile, fish and invertebrate in their care.

There were plenty of new arrivals at the zoo in 2019, all set to be added to the census.

The zoo welcomed Elio the two-toed sloth and Star the tamandua, while six Humboldt penguin chicks hatched at Penguin Beach.

A zookeeper holds a giant African land snail
A zookeeper holds a giant African land snail. Picture: PA

After being rescued from the illegal wildlife trade, four Chinese giant salamanders and four big-headed turtles were given a home at the Zoo last year.

The stock take, which began on Thursday, saw 40 Giant African land snails, 18 Bolivian black-capped squirrel monkeys and two Bactrian camels among those being counted.

Two tamandus also joined the London zoo family.

A zookeeper with a penguin at the annual stocktake
A zookeeper with a penguin at the annual stocktake. Picture: PA

The zoo’s four Asiatic lions, Bhanu, Heidi, Indi and Rubi also joined the count, as well as endangered Bactrian camels.

Teague Stubbington, assistant curator, said: “At the time of year when lots of people are taking stock and looking forward, we’re doing exactly the same, just a little more literally.”

Zookeepers spend a week counting almost 600 species in the zoo.

Asiatic Lion Heidi at a blackboard during the count
Asiatic Lion Heidi at a blackboard during the count. Picture: PA
Zookeeper Mick Tiley counts Bactrian Camels at the stocktake
Zookeeper Mick Tiley counts Bactrian Camels at the stocktake. Picture: PA

It is a part of the zoo's licensing process to count how many of each species are in residence once every year.

Some 19,035 animals were counted at the zoo in last year's census, which houses more than 580 species.

This information is then shared amongst zoos worldwide.

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