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PHOTOS: London Zoo is doing its annual weigh-in

It helps zookeepers monitor the animals’ health and well-being.

LONDON ZOO IS carrying out its annual weigh-in.

With more than 17,000 animals in their care, zookeepers have their work cut out for them.

In a statement, the zoo said the annual weigh-in is “an opportunity for keepers … to make sure the information they’ve recorded is up-to-date and accurate, as well as to monitor the animals’ health and well-being”.

PHOTOS: London Zoo is doing its annual weigh-in
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  • London Zoo weigh-in

    Source: Matt Crossick / Matt Crossick/Empics Entertainment
  • London Zoo weigh-in

    Source: Laura Dale / PA Wire/Press Association Images
  • London Zoo weigh-in

    Source: Matt Crossick / Matt Crossick/Empics Entertainment
  • London Zoo weigh-in

    Source: Matt Crossick / Matt Crossick/Empics Entertainment

Each measurement is added to the Zoological Information Management System, a database shared with zoos all over the world, helping zookeepers to compare information about thousands of endangered species.

Source: ZSL - Zoological Society of London/YouTube

Mark Habben, the zoo’s zoological manager, said: “We have to know the vital statistics of every animal at the zoo – however big or small.

This information helps us to monitor their health and their diets and, by sharing the information with other zoos and conservationists worldwide, we can use this knowledge to better care for all our animals.

Habben added that “different personalities and temperaments” have to be taken into account when weighing and measuring the animals.

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He said zookeepers use different tricks to entice the animals to take part, such as “getting penguins to walk over scales as they line up for their morning feed and hanging breakfast from up high to encourage the lions and tigers to reach up to their full height”.

Habben said keepers also use regular weight checks and waist measurements to “identify pregnant animals, many of which are endangered species that are part of the zoo’s international conservation breeding programmes”.

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Órla Ryan

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