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19,000 Animals Have their Yearly Weigh-In at ZSL London Zoo

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: August 30, 2020 1:59 pm

ZSL Weigh-In

The animals at ZSL London Zoo undergo their weigh-in

Photo Credit: ZSL London Zoo

The animals at ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos have presented for their yearly weigh-in. Each year the 19,000 animals which call the United Kingdom Zoos home are counted and measured to keep an eye on their health.

Some of the animals are old hands at the weigh-in procedure such as Dolly the Galapagos giant tortoise who follows a line of traffic cones on to the scales.

Others such as four month old otter pups, Bubble and Squeak were stepping on the scales for the first times guided by parents Pip and Matilda.

ZSL Weigh-In

The animals at ZSL London Zoo undergo their weigh-in

Photo Credit: ZSL London Zoo

Some weighed in for two such as pregnant okapi, Oni who is due to give birth in the autumn. She recorded a weight of 288kg. At last weigh in she was 250kg.

While some animals voluntarily hop on to the scales others such as the ring-tailed lemurs are tempted on with their favorite treats. Others such as the penguins unknowingly crossed the scales as they lined up for their morning feed.

ZSL Weigh-In

The animals at ZSL London Zoo undergo their weigh-in

Photo Credit: ZSL London Zoo

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ZSL’s assistant curator of mammals, Teague Stubbington, says: “We have to know the vital statistics of every animal at the Zoo – from the tallest giraffe to the tiniest ant.

“It helps to ensure that every animal we look after is healthy, eating well, and growing at the rate they should – weight is a particularly important indicator of health and wellbeing.

“A growing waistline can also help us to detect and monitor pregnancies, which is so important as many of the species at ZSL London Zoo are endangered and part of international breeding programmes, such as Oni the okapi who is currently 14 months pregnant with her second calf.

ZSL Weigh-In

The animals at ZSL London Zoo undergo their weigh-in

Photo Credit: ZSL London Zoo

The weigh-in day makes sure information on each animal at the zoo is up to date. It is recorded in the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS). This program is shared with zoos around the world who can then compare data to ensure their animals are healthy.

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

Learn more about ZSL on their website – ZSL

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