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Last Updated: Thursday January 08 2009 16:18 GMT

In pics: Sonali helps with zoo's animal count

Zoo Keeper Mick Tiley carries out a count of Meercats (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

Zoo keepers across the country have been busy, counting up all the creatures in their care. Newsround's Sonali went to London Zoo to find out more about how it's done...


As you can imagine, it's a huge job - and a tricky one - as most of the animals won't keep still! Can YOU count how many flamingos there are in this picture?

Sonali counting butterflies

And some of the creatures won't even stay on the ground... Here's Sonali trying to keep track of the butterflies flying around! It looks like she's concentrating hard.

Sonali watching the monkeys

But not all the animals are that difficult, taking stock of the monkeys looks slightly easier!

Sonali with a zoo keeper and some penguins

And have you ever wondered how to count penguins? Well, Sonali found out how it was done, and even met a few of the cute creatures.

Sonali looking scared by the penguins!

What's scared Sonali? Perhaps the penguins aren't all as friendly as they seem...

A curious penguin

But they're certainly very curious creatures. Perhaps they were wondering what all the fuss was about?

Crowd of photographers at the zoo

And there was a BIG fuss. Sonali wasn't the only reporter at the zoo that day, there were LOADS of photographers keen to get a glimpse of the animals.

A meercat investigates a clipboard during the annual animal count .(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

And they weren't the only ones wondering what was going on! By law, the count has to happen every year, so zoo keepers monitor breeding and make sure none have gone walkabout.