Penguin chicks and tiger cubs: London Zoo begins annual residents count

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The London Zoo's annual resident count
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The London Zoo's annual resident count
Zoo keeper Suzi Hyde counts Humboldt penguins during the annual stocktake at London Zoo in London, Britain January 3, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
Zoo keeper Suzi Hyde counts Humboldt penguins during the annual stocktake at London Zoo in London, Britain January 3, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
Zoo keeper Janet Abreu counts Humboldt penguins during the annual stocktake at London Zoo in London, Britain January 3, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
A zookeeper poses with a praying mantis during the annual stocktake at London Zoo in London, Britain January 3, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
Humboldt penguins swim in their pool during the annual stocktake at London Zoo in London, Britain January 3, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
Humboldt penguins swim in their pool during the annual stocktake at London Zoo in London, Britain January 3, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
Zoo keeper Mick Tiley poses with a Bactrian camel during the annual stocktake at London Zoo in London, Britain January 3, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
Zoo keeper Veronica Heldt poses with meerkats during the annual stocktake at London Zoo in London, Britain January 3, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
Sumatran tiger Jae Jae is reflected in glass during the annual stocktake at London Zoo in London, Britain January 3, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
A meerkat stands on a rock during the annual stocktake at London Zoo in London, Britain January 3, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
Sumatran tiger cubs play with a sign during the annual stocktake at London Zoo in London, Britain January 3, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 04: Zookeeper Collene Gibbings poses for a photograph next to a tank of moon jellyfish during the annual stocktake of animals at ZSL London Zoo on January 4, 2016 in London, England. The zoo's annual stocktake requires keepers to check on the numbers of every one of the 800 different animal species, including every invertebrate, bird, fish, mammal, reptile, and amphibian. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
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LONDON (Reuters) - Keepers at ZSL London zoo began the mammoth task of counting the park's more than 700 species on Tuesday, using treats to entice some animals out for the annual stocktake.

From small invertebrates to larger mammals, creatures of all sizes are counted each year at the zoo in the center of the British capital. New additions for the 2017 census include four Humboldt penguin chicks and Sumatran tiger cubs Achilles and Karis.

Tallying up all the animals takes around a week and is a requirement of the zoo's license. Information collected is then shared with other zoos around the world to help in the protection of endangered species.

"It's an opportunity for all of the animal teams to go out and make a record of how many individual animals we've got on each section," Zoological Manager Mark Habben said, noting the zoo had some 712 species and more than 18,000 animals.

"At the end of June, Melati, our female Sumatran tiger, gave birth to a male and female and that for us is a real measure of success."

(Reporting By Alex Fraser Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

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