Aquarists at SEA LIFE London Aquarium today dived into its annual creature ‘Count and Clean’ to take stock of its huge array of amazing marine species, including Boris the Green Sea Turtle named after the Prime Minister.
Every January expert Aquarists at the famous South Bank attraction don their wetsuits and come armed with their calculators to take on the mammoth task of counting the attraction’s nearly 6,000 creatures and marine species which are cared for by the team as well as the hundreds more Leaf Cutter Ants, Cockroaches and Jewel Anemones.
From one of its smallest species such as the Tropical Milk Frog, measuring just 8 centimetres, to its largest inhabitants including the whopping Green Sea Turtle, Boris, who is 27-years old and measures 1.5 metres long and weighs 138 kilograms.
During the annual ‘Count and Clean’ the creatures are all expertly examined and counted by the team of Aquarists, who also record any new arrivals. By performing the annual activity, the Aquarists are able to enhance the strong bonds they have with the creatures they care for as they get up close and personal with them throughout the process. The Aquarists also get the opportunity to spruce-up the resident’s marine homes ready to gleam for guests in 2022.
Catherine Pritchard, SEA LIFE London Aquarium’s General Manager, said: “Diving into our January ‘Count and Clean’ is one of the most exciting and important events at SEA LIFE London Aquarium, as it’s a chance to take stock of all our new arrivals over the past year.
“Whilst our Aquarists have lots of fun trying to count all of the amazing creatures in our collection, we also perform an early spring clean to help us maintain the health and well-being of our creatures both now and for future generations to come.”
The annual event allows SEA LIFE London Aquarium to take part in international breeding programmes, alongside SEA LIFE centres around the world. This includes the SEA LIFE Trust, British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (EAZA) studbook programmes which aim to conserve the healthy population of animals.
Count and Clean Fact File
● The largest animal in the ‘Count and Clean’ is the Sand Tiger Shark (3m long) and the smallest is the Coral Polyp (less than 1mm)
● 2021 saw SEA LIFE London Aquarium welcome two adorable new Gentoo Penguin chicks named in honour of tennis star Emma Raducanu and the co-creator of the AstraZeneca vaccine, Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert
● The amazing ocean display tank houses hundreds of marine species including the attraction’s two Green Sea Turtles, 27-year-old Boris, who is 1.5m long and weighs 138 kilograms, and 24-year-old Dougie, who is 1.45m long and weighs 101 kilograms
● The Rainforest Adventure zone underwent its latest survey of the many creatures that call it home, including 298 Clownfish, 90 Marble Jellyfish and four Milk Frogs
● Ocean Invaders is the largest jellyfish facility in the UK with approximately 3,000 jellyfish including Moon Jellyfish (Aurelia aurita), Upside Down Jellyfish (Cassiopea sp), and the Marble Jellyfish (Lynchnoriza lucerna).