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Last Updated: Tuesday January 05 2010 17:49 GMT

I've been counting zoo animals!

Hayley holding a stick insect

Hayley counts animals at the zoo.

On Tuesday I went for a day trip to the zoo - but not for a fun day out. I went to help the keepers at my local zoo in London to count the animals.

It's something that zoos across the country have to do every year so that they know how many animals they have.

When I went to see the meerkats they were really funny and danced around their pen.

But the problem with them moving round lots is that it becomes really difficult to count them.

I spoke to zoo keeper Lucy who told me just how she counts the cheeky animals.

She said that she identifies them by picking out special markings.

This was really interesting but as I was chatting to Lucy I noticed that my hand bag was moving and then I saw that a cheeky little meerkat has jumped into my handbag when I wasn't looking!

But that wasn't the end of my animal encounters.

Next we had the insects and to count them properly.. yes you guessed it, I had to get up nice and close - eeeew!!

Well after all that counting, I can tell you that the London Zoo has over 14,500 animals. Wow!




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