Photos: The London Zoo Takes Annual Stock of Its Animals

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Keeper Luke Harding poses with a Jackson's chameleon during the stock take at London Zoo in England January 4. Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Keepers at the London Zoo have a busy week ahead of them: They'll be taking stock of all their animals by counting every single one.

The annual event has zoo employees chasing hundreds of species to carefully record exactly how many they have.

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A zoo worker counts Humboldt penguins during a photo call at London Zoo. Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
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Keeper Janet Abreu counts Humboldt penguins during a photo call at London Zoo January 4. Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
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Humboldt penguins swim in their pool during the stock take. Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

While some animals, like all 73 penguins, are rather easy to count, others prove more difficult. Smaller sea creatures that live in aquariums are especially difficult, as they're always on the move.

"It's really important that we do the stocktake, it gives us an opportunity to evaluate what successes we've had throughout the year, particularly in breeding critically endangered species, like the Western lowland gorilla," Mark Habben, a zoological manager, told Reuters. In addition to being important for record keeping, it gives the animals some time with their keepers.

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Keeper Luke Harding poses with a Jackson's chameleon during the stock take at London Zoo in England January 4. Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

The animals don't seem entirely bothered by the process, and interact with their keepers as usual.

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Keeper Veronica Heldt poses with meerkats during the stock take. Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Even the tarantulas get some one-on-one time with the keepers during the census.

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Keeper Jamie Mitchell poses with a Mexican red-kneed tarantula during the stock take at London Zoo. Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Some animals get more up close and personal with their keepers than others. The llamas are particularly serious fans of both the staff and the camera.

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Keeper Jessica Jones poses with a llama during the stock take. Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
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A llama looks at a photographer's lens during the stock take at London Zoo January 4. Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
Photos: The London Zoo Takes Annual Stock of Its Animals | World