The London Zoo has embarked on its ambitious annual census, involving a headcount of approximately 14,000 animals across diverse species, spanning two days.
Highlighting the event, a group of Humboldt penguins lined up in an orderly fashion, ready for their count. However, not all animals shared the same enthusiasm for the process. Crispin, a young and endangered Sumatran tiger, amusingly mistook a chalkboard for a toy during his count with three other tigers.
This comprehensive count is a mandatory aspect of the zoo’s licensing requirements. The data collected is crucial for international zoological collaboration, especially for managing breeding programs for endangered species.
The zoo’s newest residents, including a two-toed sloth and 17 recently hatched chicks from various species like the Socorro dove, extinct in the wild, will be part of this year’s census.
Zoological operations manager Dan Simmonds highlighted the creative methods keepers use to ensure accurate counts. Instances of this included Kim Carter easily tallying Galapagos giant tortoises Priscilla, Polly, and Dolly, while Becca Keefe counted zebras Kabibi, Kianga, and Spot. Sam Aberdeen had a more unique task, presenting a Seychelles giant millipede, thankfully counting the creature itself rather than its numerous legs.