London Zoo shows off adorable animals during annual stock take… a month after it was hit by a fire

London Zoo began its stock take a month later after the annual ritual was delayed by a fire.

The event was put on hold forĀ more than a month after four meerkats and an aardvark died in the fire on December 23.

Some 70 firefighters tackled the flames at the Animal Adventure area, cafe, petting zoo and gift shop, which left nine people injured.

Now more than 700 species are being counted in the zoo’s audit of creatures big and small, including Jimmy and Yoda the Galapagos tortoises, Max the Eurasian eagle and Bhanu the lion.

London Zoo counts the animals in annual stocktake

Zookeepers must tally 19, 289 animals across species from mammals to birds, reptile, fish, amphibian and insect throughout the week.

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

Firefighters worked to control theĀ fire at London Zoo in London (AFP/Getty Images)

It comes after 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 in the wake of the fire.

Mark Haben, zoological manager at Zoological Society of London (ZSL), said the incident had brought staff at the zoo together in preparation for the new breeding season.

London Zoo employees comfort a colleague after a fire broke out (AFP/Getty Images)

He said: “A couple of months in, it’s still early days for us and we don’t know the cause of the fire, so it’s early days for us to speculate and there’s still an ongoing investigation.

“Anything like that has an impact and it’s very upsetting for everyone who works here.

“But the wider impact is that it has brought everyone together and really allowed us all to support each other, and really focus on our animal breeding for this year.”

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He added: “The whole zoo has pulled together, the Society pulled together and we’re really gearing up for a successful 2018.”

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 after Meghan Markle.

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