It’s January. It’s cold. It’s Lockdown 3. But if everything feels a little bleak right now, rest assured that not even a pandemic can stop the London tradition that is… the ZSL London Zoo annual stocktake.
Every year in January, London Zoo staff take out their clipboards and calculators and count up every single animal in the zoo. Yes, really. The count for 2021 is ongoing, but to give you an idea, the totals for 2020 were 19,035 animals and 440 species. And you thought that 1,000-piece puzzle you’ve been working on since March 2020 was tricksy.
The zoo welcomed a few new arrivals in 2020, including two otter pups born to first-time parents Pip and Matilda during the first lockdown and Oni the okapi’s new calf Ede. If you’re not sure what an okapi is, it looks like a kind of donkey/horse/giraffe hybrid (just call us David Attenborough):
Every animal needs to be counted, but the zoo is also home to lots of insects – thankfully, things like ant colonies are counted as one, because who has time to count hundreds of ants? Remember that the next time you’re bored. You could be counting ants.
Want more uplifting news? We’ve launched a new series called One Good Thing to Do Today, to help you get through lockdown. Read the first instalment here.