How do you weigh a pregnant okapi? Not the average workplace conundrum, but one that faced zookeepers this morning at ZSL London Zoo. Today saw resident animals at the zoo line-up for their annual weigh-in, and among the critters getting their vital statistics assessed were meerkats, ring-tailed lemurs, Humboldt penguins, Mexican red-kneed spiders and baby gidgee skinks (nope, no idea).
The annual event keeps zookeepers busy, with 19,000 animals to measure. The results are added to a database shared with zoos around the world in their combined efforts to track the state of endangered species.
‘It helps to ensure that every animal we look after is healthy, eating well, and growing at the rate they should – weight is a particularly important indicator of health and wellbeing,’ said ZSL’s assistant curator of mammals, Teague Stubbington.
Oni the okapi – who is heavily pregnant and due in the autumn – weighed in at a healthy 288kg, rather than her usual 250kg. Karl the Humboldt penguin was found to be carrying 5.3kg after being tricked into getting weighed when queuing up for feeding time. We are all Karl.
See how the other animals weighed up in the gallery below...
London Zoo reopened on Monday June 15 and is currently calling for volunteers.
In other news, the Tower of London’s ravens are bored and missing human company.