From aardvarks to zebras: London Zoo counts its creatures

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From aardvarks to zebras: London Zoo counts its creatures
A zookeeper poses with Humboldt penguins during a photocall to publicise the annual stock-take at London Zoo in London, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

LONDON (AP) — Jimmy and Yoda the Galapagos tortoises, Max the Eurasian eagle and Bhanu the lion have stood up to be counted as London Zoo conducts its annual audit of creatures big and small.

Zookeepers tallied some 19,289 animals in the annual count of every mammal, bird, reptile, fish, amphibian and insect at the famous zoo.

The penguins, at least, made it easy Wednesday, lining up flipper to flipper. Some concessions are made. Ants, for example, are counted en masse.

This year’s event was delayed after a fire just before Christmas that killed four meerkats and an aardvark.

But Mark Haben of the Zoological Society of London says the count “brought everyone together and really allowed us all to support each other, and really focus on our animal breeding for this year.”