London Zookeepers got out their clipboards and cameras on Tuesday (Jan 3) for their New Year stocktake.
From the tiny midwife toad to the huge Bactrian camels, the Regent’s Park attraction tallies up all 300 species of reptile, bird, fish, mammal and invertebrate during its annual audit.
2022 saw the arrival of new animals at ZSL including critically endangered Western lowland gorilla Kiburi, Sumatran tiger cubs Zac and Crispin, and 10 Humboldt chicks which hatched on Penguin Beach.
Chestnut Buttons and Truffle also joined London Zoo’s herd of pygmy goats in June, and big-headed turtle Celia was born to parents rescued from the illegal wildlife trade in 2018.
She will soon make the move – along with 1,339 other reptiles and amphibians – to an exciting new home; The Secret Life of Reptiles and Amphibians, opening in Spring.
ZSL’s Operations Manager Dan Simmonds said: “With more than 14,000 to count 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.”
Every year they submit an updated number of animals as part of their license, which is also shared with the international zoo commmunity to inform collective global conservation breeding work.
Dan 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!”