BBC Home
Explore the BBC

CBBC

World

Last Updated: Friday January 07 2011 17:04 GMT

Ricky helps with the animal count at London Zoo!

Ricky tries counting fish at London Zoo!

How do you count fish?

Keepers at London Zoo have had their work cut out this week counting all the animals there for their annual animal stock take.

With thousands of creatures living at the zoo, it's a big job. So we sent Ricky along to help out...


"So, I'm at London Zoo. Apart from the rubbish weather (it's raining!) it's a great chance for me to take a look at the lions and a few cheeky chimps.

But sadly, I'm not allowed to have a wander around the zoo just for pleasure. No, I'm here to count some of the animals.

Every single creature has to be counted so the zoo can keep track of all the animals living at the zoo.

PICTURES...
London Zoo annual animal count - squirrel monkeys

From camels to fish, every creature, big or small has to be accounted for.

I helped out Brian Zimmerman, who's in charge of the aquarium and soon found out that counting fish isn't easy.

For starters, they're constantly moving about and lets face it, it's not easy to tell them apart.

If the tank is full of small fish, the staff at the zoo take a picture of it so they can try to work out how many fishes there are. It's a lot easier than watching them all swim about, trying to remember which ones you've already counted!

It takes the keepers at London Zoo around three weeks to complete their list. But I've only got a couple of hours… so I better get cracking...!"

Watch the clip to find out how Ricky got on.