London Zoo annual stocktake finally takes place after recent fire | London

The annual event, in which more than 19,000 individual animals are counted, was delayed by more than a month after four meerkats and an aardvark died in the blaze on December 23.

The zoo reopened on Christmas Eve, but the stocktake – scheduled to take place on January 2 – was postponed until Wednesday to “get more staff involved” and give the zoo more planning time.

With more than 700 species to be counted across animals including bugs, lions, penguins and fish, the process will continue throughout the week.

Zookeepers try to make the day as “relatively positive” for the 19,289 animals, by counting them during their feeding time and taking a microchip reading off them.

The attraction, which brought in 1.2 million visitors in 2016, expects to welcome more animal births following a “very successful” breeding season last year which ended with the birth of an okapi, named Meghan after Meghan Markle.

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