Image: © ZSL

14,000 London Zoo Animals Jump On the Scales


Cale Russell


August 25, 2023 7:19 pm


London, England, The United Kingdom

Over 14,000 animals at ZSL London Zoo have stepped on to the scales this week helping to provide vital information which will assist in the planning of conservation efforts for these endangered species. Penguins, tigers and gorillas were among the many species coaxed on to the scales by their expert keepers.

Throughout the year keepers at the zoo collect a range of data on the animals in their care helping them to monitor their health and wellbeing. The annual weigh-in serves as an opportunity to verify this data and ensure it is up to date.

All of the collected data will be entered in to a shared database known as the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS). This system can be accessed by keepers around the globe allowing them to compare and improve care of their animals.

London Zoo’s Head of Zoological Operations, Angela Ryan said: “We record the vital statistics of every animal at the Zoo – from the tallest giraffe to the tiniest tadpole.

“Having this data helps to ensure that every animal we care for is healthy, eating well, and growing at the rate they should - a key indicator of health and wellbeing.”

“For example, a growing waistline can help us to detect and monitor pregnancies, which is vitally important as many of the species we care for are threatened in the wild and part of international conservation breeding programmes - London Zoo coordinates the global programme for Sumatran tigers, for example.”

“By sharing information with other zoos and conservationists around the world, we can all use this knowledge to better care for the species we’re striving to protect.” 

The keepers are experts in ensuring their animals step on to the scales. The Humboldt penguins were 'tricked' in to walking across the scales as they lined up for their morning feed while the Bolivian black-capped squirrel monkeys are encouraged onto the scales with tasty treats.  

Some animals were making their weigh-in debut. Western lowland gorilla Kiburi arrived at the zoo last year as part of an international breeding program for her species. While Sumatran tiger cubs, Zac and Crispin, recently celebrated their first birthday after being born at the zoo. 

London Zoo Animal Weigh In

A critically endangered Sumatran tiger measures up during the weigh-in at ZSL London Zoo. He weighed in at 60kg. Image: © ZSL

London Zoo Animal Weigh In

Keeper Chelsea Reid-Johnson weighs meerkat, Penelope during the yearly weigh-in at ZSL London Zoo. She weighed in at 910g. Image: © ZSL

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Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae)

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With just 400 Sumatran tigers remaining in the wild find out what is threatening this species and driving them towards extinction.

About the Author

Cale Russell

Cale has operated The Animal Facts since 2012. During this time he has volunteered and worked across a range of Australian Wildlife Parks something he continues to today. He holds a certificate in Animal Care and Husbandry.

Our Favourite Squirrel Monkey Fact!

Often groups of squirrel monkeys will travel with groups of capuchin monkeys. These larger monkeys flush out insects and small animals as they move around which the squirrel monkeys can then feed on.

Image: © ZSL

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