London Zoo's animals have annual weigh in

London Zoo's Animals Have Annual Weigh in

This is not a job for the faint hearted. Keepers at London Zoo are undertaking the monumental - and annual - task of weighing and measuring all of the zoo's 18,430 animals.

While squirrel monkeys had to be lured to sit still on the scales with a treat, the zoo's penguins were far better behaved. In fact, they even queued up to get weighed.

See also: Adorable tiger cubs born at London Zoo

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The head of zoo management at the attraction said the task shows visitors the sheer number of animals in residence - and how different they all are.

Mark Habben, Head of Zoo Management at London Zoo, said: "Our heaviest animal here is one of our giraffes weighing nearly a tonne... about 860 kilograms, the lightest would have to be something like a leaf cutter ant which is just minuscule, it wouldn't even reach in the grams, it is a tiny, tiny species."

The zoo uses the data it collects to check on the overall health of their animals - and to see whether they might need to go on a diet, or be eating for two.

Habben adds: "It tells us if an animal is going up and we need to change its nutritional diet. It might even be an indication of pregnancy in some species, so again we might need increase food as much as reduce the levels."

London Zoo also conducts a head count of all of its creatures every January - and adds it to a global database of wild animals in captivity.

Baby zoo animals around the world
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Baby zoo animals around the world

These babies, named Sri Kandi (left) and Arjuna (right) were born at Tierpark, Berlin, Germany. They made their debut on 5 March 2012.

Clinging to his mum, baby Changi meets his public  for the first time at Krefeld Zoo, Germany.

This little rhino, named Male, was born in January. He's pictured here with his mother, Mana, at Magdeburg Zoo, Germany.

The zoo at Tierpark in Berlin celebrated the birth of a litter of four dingo babies in January.

Only a few days old, this baby giraffe, named Kimarle, peaks out from her enclosure at the ZOOM Zoo in Gelsenkirchen, western Germany. The 170cm tall giraffe was born on March 9.

A one-month-old baby squirrel monkey clings to its mother's back at Qingdao Forest Wildlife Park, China.

A two-week old baby gorilla is cuddled by her mum, Mumba, a Western Lowland Gorilla, at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park near Ashford, Kent.

Born at Cincinnati Zoo,  US, this one-month old hedgehog is being hand reared by keepers until it is old enough to be included in the zoo's outreach programme.

Ludwig the baby elephant is clearly happy to be out and about at the Tierpark Hellabrunn Zoo, Munich.

These cuties were born in February at Bristol Zoo Gardens.

This cub was born prematurely at Toronto Zoo. His mum rejected him soon after he was born, so he was cared for by staff at the zoo. Here he is making his debut in February.

This six-month old baby Western Lowland Gorilla is seen here enjoying the spring sunshine with her mother at Dublin Zoo.


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