London Zoo counts its creatures in annual stock take

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Media captionAnimals from pelicans to penguins will all have their numbers recorded

Zookeepers have dusted off their calculators and dug out their tally charts to begin the tricky task of counting every animal at London Zoo.

Home to more than 18,000 animals and 750 species, keepers are taking note of every mammal, bird, fish, reptile, amphibian and invertebrate.

The compulsory annual count is required for the zoo to retain its licence.

The data is collated so it can be shared with zoos around the world to assist with breeding programmes.

A zoo spokeswoman said: "People who work in every section need to count the animals in that section."

Camouflaged insects

The count is an easier task for the zookeepers in some sections of the zoo than others.

"The stick insects are all camouflaged so they can hide in the exhibit," the zoo spokeswoman said.

"And the moon jellyfish are constantly on the move."

She added: "The leaf cutter ants get counted as a colony - we know there are about 10,000 of them."

It has been a busy year for London Zoo with the opening of the brand new penguin beach exhibit.

The zoo has also seen the arrival of two endangered Asian lion cubs and the birth of two ginger-haired Francois Langur monkeys.

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