Keepers at London Zoo undertook a hefty challenge – weighing more than 17,000 animals as part of the annual weigh-in.

Measuring a tiger
One of ZSL London Zoo’s keepers measures a tiger.

The mammoth measuring task is an opportunity for keepers to make sure the recorded information is accurate and a chance to monitor the animals’ health and well-being.

Each measurement is added to the Zoological Information Management System, a database shared with zoos all over the world, helping keepers compare important information on endangered species.

Ingenious tactics

With different personalities and temperaments to take into account, zoo keepers use ingenious tactics to entice the animals to be measured; getting penguins to walk over scales as they line up for their morning feed and hanging breakfast to encourage the lions and tigers to reach up to their full height.

Mark Habben, zoological manager at Zoological Society of London, which owns London Zoo, said: “We have to know the vital statistics of every animal at the zoo – however big or small.

“This information helps us to monitor their health and their diets, and by sharing the information with other zoos and conservationists worldwide, we can use this knowledge to better care for our animals.”



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