Paying close attention ... Ringtailed lemurs check the tally on Chester Zoo's stocktake. Photo: Reuters
London: Rare pheasants and near-extinct kangaroos are among some of the species having their details taken during London Zoo's annual stocktake.
Some of the world's most endangered species are being counted for the first time, including the first spiny headed lizards to be born in Britain. The compulsory annual count is required as part of the zoo's licence.
Zoological manager Mark Habben said: "all of the keeping staff at London are out with their animals and keeping an eye on how they have been over the last year. Any new births are recorded and we log all of that information so that it's accessible for other animal collections."
London Zoo's annual stocktake of animals
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 02: Kumbuka, a Western Lowland gorilla, in his enclosure during ZSL London Zoo's annual stocktake of animals on January 2, 2014 in London, England. The zoo's annual stocktake requires keepers to check on the numbers of every one of the 800 different animals species held, including every invertebrate, bird, fish, mammal, reptile, and amphibian. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images) Photo: Oli Scarff
He added: "2013 was a very successful year for us breeding wise. We had our female tapir give birth so we have got a young tapir here on exhibit which is fantastic."
Every creature, from tiny leafcutter ants to the huge silverback gorilla, will be recorded during the stocktake, which will be completed by the end of next week. The data will be shared with zoos worldwide to help with breeding programs.