What a week it’s been, huh? TikTok users may have been emitting harmful gases, the International Space Station (ISS) may be collapsing, and the world’s first talking duck turned out to be a bit of a pottymouth.
It’s enough to make you lose hope, but we’re here to cheer you up with the universal remedy for melancholy: beautiful fluffies getting their annual weigh-in. Please picture these cuties reacting to their results in a range of beautiful cockney accents because they dwell at ZSL London Zoo.
“We need to know the critical data of every animal at the Zoo, from the largest giraffe to the tiniest ant,” said Angela Ryan, Animal Manager of the ZSL London Zoo. “It ensures that every animal we care for is healthy, eating well, and developing at the appropriate rate – weight is a critical measure of health and wellbeing.” Although zookeepers monitor the height and weight of the animals in their care all year, this annual check-up is necessary to ensure that their information is current and accurate.
This is crucial because the information will be shared with a global network of zoos through a database called ZIMS (Zoological Information Management System).
“By exchanging information with other zoos and conservationists around the world, we can all better care for the species we’re trying to save,” Ryan stated. As we’ve seen many times before, getting an animal on the weighing scales can be difficult at times. Fortunately, the keepers had a few methods under their sleeves for obtaining the information they required, such as food:
Squirrel monkeys will enjoy these fun training activities and sweet treats: And, well, let’s face it, you can’t go wrong with food and fun as incentives. Arya, an Asiatic lioness who went to London seeking love earlier this year, is shown here displaying her remarkable stature. Of course, not all of the animals were problematic. All the keepers needed were a diversion and a ridiculously huge set of calipers to measure the carapaces of Giant Galápagos tortoises Dolly, Polly, and Priscilla.
While they’re somewhat ironically termed “large-headed” cousins could be readily picked up and deposited on the scale, they were way, way down on the other end of the scale. The big-headed turtle is extremely endangered, prized for its meat and for the worldwide pet trade – ZSL’s big-headed community is actually rescued from international smuggling. The annual weigh-in has an extra essential purpose for these creatures, as well as many other endangered or critically endangered species that live among ZSL’s 20,000 residents: it flags probable pregnancy.
“An expanding waistline can also aid in the detection and monitoring of pregnancies, which is critical,” Ryan explained.
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