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London Zoo counts its animals

Report by Katie Lamborn, Video by Melissa Nathoo

Rare tigers, baby monkeys and waxy tree frogs all joined London Zoo in 2012 but Ricky the penguin is the only rockhopper to be counted in this year's annual stock take.

Some of the world's most endangered species will be counted for the first time, including a pair of Sumatran tigers and Ziggy, a white naped mangabey.

The data will be shared with zoos worldwide to help with breeding programmes so animals like Ricky will be able to mate.

David Field, London Zoo's director, said: "We put all this data together so we know what zoo has what animal. All the work we do here counting the animals is so we can understand what we have and breed together the most genetically important male and females together to breed these incredibly endangered species."

Speaking about Ricky the penguin, whose yellow feathers mark him out from all the others in the country's largest penguin pool, he said: "We have some more penguins coming to join Ricky but he is quite a character.

"He was hand reared because he was kicked out by his parents. We are going to teach him to be a penguin again."

The zookeepers recorded 17,519 animals in last year's count, with 767 species, but since then the zoo has seen a number of arrivals.

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