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A very important stocktake that happens every year has just begun: London Zoo’s staff are busy counting every single animal of every species on the premises. Why don’t they know the exact number already? Well, thankfully, the zoo has welcomed many new arrivals this year, which will only be recorded officially now.

Among the newcomers are lioness cub Arya, three turtles, three white colobus monkeys, a baby sloth named Terry and a tiger cub too. Many of these newborns belong to endangered species, which is a huge relief and goes towards reducing the growing number of at-risk breeds around the world.

At the beginning of 2021 there was a total of 20,329 animals in the zoo, representing 400 different species. Every year, the stocktake results are shared with other zoos around the world so that zoologists can get a better sense of how conservation projects are going.

Counting most of the animals is easy, but some are a little harder to keep track of. Imagine having to identify how many ants live over a 14-acre property. Yeah, they don’t even attempt that! Ant colonies count as one, and some other species need to be photographed in order to get an accurate count.

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