One hippopotamus... London Zoo counts its animals in delayed census

LONDON (Reuters) - Keepers started counting the animals in London Zoo on Wednesday, in an annual stock take that was delayed by a fire in December.

Several animals that arrived in 2017 made their first appearance in the census, including the first Hanuman langur baby born in the facility, 11 Humboldt penguin chicks and a giant anteater.

December's fire killed an aardvark and four meerkats.

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London Zoo counts its animals in delayed census
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London Zoo counts its animals in delayed census
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 7: A zookeeper is counting Humboldt penguins during the annual stocktake at ZSL London Zoo. Each year keepers tally up every animal of more than 700 species at the London Zoo, and the results are shared with other zoos to help manage the worldwide conservation breeding programmes for endangered animals. February 7, 2018 in London, England. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 07: Lions in there enclosure during the ZSL London Zoo annual stock take at ZSL London Zoo on February 7, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 7: A zookeeper holds the eagle owl during the annual stocktake at ZSL London Zoo. Each year keepers tally up every animal of more than 700 species at the London Zoo, and the results are shared with other zoos to help manage the worldwide conservation breeding programmes for endangered animals. February 7, 2018 in London, England. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 07: Laura Cadigan counting lemurs during the ZSL London Zoo annual stock take at ZSL London Zoo on February 7, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)
A worker poses next to the penguins enclosure during the Annual Stocktake at ZSL London Zoo in London, Britain February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Tom Jacobs
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 07: Chelsea Reid-Johnson counting llamas during the ZSL London Zoo annual stock take at ZSL London Zoo on February 7, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 7: Squirrel monkeys during the annual stocktake at ZSL London Zoo. Each year keepers tally up every animal of more than 700 species at the London Zoo, and the results are shared with other zoos to help manage the worldwide conservation breeding programmes for endangered animals. February 7, 2018 in London, England. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 7: A zookeeper counts Moon Jellyfish during the annual stocktake at ZSL London Zoo. Each year keepers tally up every animal of more than 700 species at the London Zoo, and the results are shared with other zoos to help manage the worldwide conservation breeding programmes for endangered animals. February 7, 2018 in London, England. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
A lion looks on during the Annual Stocktake at ZSL London Zoo in London, Britain February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Tom Jacobs
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 07: Laura Cadigan counting lemurs during the ZSL London Zoo annual stock take at ZSL London Zoo on February 7, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)
A worker poses next to a spiider during the Annual Stocktake at ZSL London Zoo in London, Britain February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Tom Jacobs
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 7: Asiatic lions during the annual stocktake at ZSL London Zoo. Each year keepers tally up every animal of more than 700 species at the London Zoo, and the results are shared with other zoos to help manage the worldwide conservation breeding programmes for endangered animals. February 7, 2018 in London, England. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 07: Chelsea Reid-Johnson counting llamas during the ZSL London Zoo annual stock take at ZSL London Zoo on February 7, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 07: Laura Cadigan counting lemurs during the ZSL London Zoo annual stock take at ZSL London Zoo on February 7, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 07: Chelsea Reid-Johnson counting llamas during the ZSL London Zoo annual stock take at ZSL London Zoo on February 7, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 07: Laura Cadigan counting lemurs during the ZSL London Zoo annual stock take at ZSL London Zoo on February 7, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 7: A zookeeper is counting Humboldt penguins during the annual stocktake at ZSL London Zoo. Each year keepers tally up every animal of more than 700 species at the London Zoo, and the results are shared with other zoos to help manage the worldwide conservation breeding programmes for endangered animals. February 7, 2018 in London, England. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 7: A zookeeper counts Moon Jellyfish during the annual stocktake at ZSL London Zoo. Each year keepers tally up every animal of more than 700 species at the London Zoo, and the results are shared with other zoos to help manage the worldwide conservation breeding programmes for endangered animals. February 7, 2018 in London, England. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 7: Asiatic lioness during the annual stocktake at ZSL London Zoo. Each year keepers tally up every animal of more than 700 species at the London Zoo, and the results are shared with other zoos to help manage the worldwide conservation breeding programmes for endangered animals. February 7, 2018 in London, England. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
A keeper stands next to a llama during the Annual Stocktake at ZSL London Zoo in London, Britain February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Tom Jacobs
A penguin looks on during the Annual Stocktake at ZSL London Zoo in London, Britain February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Tom Jacobs
Lions are thrown food during the Annual Stocktake at ZSL London Zoo in London, Britain February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Tom Jacobs
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 7: A zookeeper counts Orb spiders during the annual stocktake at ZSL London Zoo. Each year keepers tally up every animal of more than 700 species at the London Zoo, and the results are shared with other zoos to help manage the worldwide conservation breeding programmes for endangered animals. February 7, 2018 in London, England. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
A squirrel monkey sits on a stocktake board during the annual stock take at the ZSL London Zoo in central London on February 7, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 07: Photographers capture Zuzana Matyasova counting the penguins during the ZSL London Zoo annual stock take at ZSL London Zoo on February 7, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 07: Tony Cholerton counting the squirrel monkeys during the ZSL London Zoo annual stock take at ZSL London Zoo on February 7, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)
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"We don't know the cause (of the blaze) yet. It is still an ongoing investigation," said Mark Habben, Zoological Manager at the Zoological Society of London.

"But really today is a very positive experience, it brings all of the teams together, gives them focus on our upcoming season," he added.

The information from the annual stock take is shared with other zoos to manage international breeding programs.

(Writing by Mark Hanrahan in London)

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