London Zoo's annual stocktake
Monday 1 January 2001
PHOTOCALL... PHOTOCALL... PHOTOCALL...
Date: Tuesday 2nd January 2001
Venue: London Zoo
(enter via East Service Gate) Regent’s Park, London NW1
Contact: Susan Wilks, RPPR
Mobile: 07770 887175
Debbie Curtis/Peter Beatty, ZSL PR Office
Tel: 020 7449 6363/6361, Mobile 07889 043843
LONDON ZOO’S KEEPERS EMBARK ON 2001 SPECIES ODYSSEY!
London Zoo is celebrating the New Year following its annual 'stocktake' of more than 600 species housed at the Zoo, revealing a number of exciting successes. At the start of each New Year, London Zoo's keepers count up and record the many invertebrates, mammals, reptiles, birds and fish in their care, and 2001 started in the traditional manner -- with a clipboard and calculator!
The Zoos amazing exhibition Web of Life -- dedicated to the exploration and explanation of biodiversity -- has proved particularly successful with the exciting birth of giant anteaters twins, a UK first. Found in South and Central America, the species is notoriously difficult to breed, and there are less than 150 individuals in the international conservation breeding programme. This is only the second successful captive birth of twins in the world.
Some other UK firsts are the birth of the Seychelles scorpion, bred for the first time outside the Seychelles, and the giant weta -- a large invertebrate from New Zealand.
Other species bred for the first time in the UK by London Zoo in 2000:
- Charco Palma pupfish -- These freshwater fish are indigenous to only one spring in Mexico, which has dried up. Now extinct in the wild, the species can be found in the new breeding facilities of London Zoo’s aquarium.
- Blue-crowned lory –- a bird originating from the South Pacific. This breeding success is important as the husbandry methods used could act as a blueprint for breeding its endangered relatives.
- Emerald green tree monitor -- These highly endangered reptiles from Papua New Guinea were part of a Customs seizure bound for the pet trade. They are difficult to breed and very little is known about them.
"It has certainly been a great year for us all at London Zoo," commented Curator of Invertebrates, Paul Pearce-Kelly. "I think these successes highlight the importance of biodiversity and that the conservation of all animals is equally important, be they slimy, scaly, fluffy or feathered."
Paul Pearce-Kelly counting up the Millennium year successes at London Zoo, pictured with a baby anteater, or Seychelles scorpion, giant weta, emerald green tree monitor, Charco Palma pupfish or Asian elephants.
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