Zoological Society of London

London Zoo annual animal stocktake begins

Zookeper and camels

A two-toed sloth and six penguin chicks are among the new residents at ZSL London Zoo, which has begun its annual animal stocktake.

Each year, zookeepers armed with clipboards and calculators tally up every mammal, bird, reptile, fish and invertebrate at the zoo, home to almost 600 different species.

Asiatic lion

Some 91 Humboldt penguins and the zoo's four critically endangered Asiatic lions, Heidi, Indi, Rubi and Bhanu, were among the first creatures to be counted.

The stocktake is a requirement of the Zoo's licence. It takes keepers almost a week to complete, and the information is shared with other zoos around the world.

Some 19,035 animals were counted at the zoo in last year's census.

Zookeeper counts penguins
PA Media

ZSL London Zoo celebrates Christmas tamandua birth


Keepers are celebrating the Christmas arrival of a baby tamandua at ZSL London Zoo, after third-time parents Ria and Tobi welcomed their latest pup on Friday.

While the rest of the country counted down to Christmas, keepers have been counting down to the festive birth, after keeping track of Ria’s 150-day pregnancy through monthly ultrasounds.

ZSL keeper Steve Goodwin said: “We’ve all been waiting excitedly for the baby’s arrival so when Ria vanished into her nest box on Thursday evening, we had our fingers firmly crossed that the time had come.

“We came in early the next morning to check on her progress and were delighted to see a tiny baby wriggling on her back – we decided to name the newborn Star in honour of the festive season.”

Ria has kept the baby close to her since the evening birth, tucking the youngster away in her nest for a few days before taking the little one on afternoon explorations around their Rainforest Life home, the zoo said.

"We couldn’t be more excited to have a Christmas birth, and Ria is such an experienced mum that she’s venturing out with the baby already – they’re staying close to the tree tops, so Star is exactly where she should be at this time of year."

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