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Duration 00:02:11

The animals get counted (even if the people don’t!)

In 1941, the keepers at London’s Regent’s Park Zoo took their own census of the animals.


Title reads: “Census time at the Zoo”. London Zoo, Regent’s Park.

A zoo keeper / census official is writing on a clipboard. Various shots of Polar and Brown bears in their enclosures.

Voiceover: The keepers at Regent’s Park’s Zoo are taking a census of its inhabitants.

The last time the inventory was checked was at the end of 1939, when 2,932 – not in front of the children, please! – when 2,932 mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes were housed in London’s pleasure gardens. The war has slightly affected the numbers, as during the past year there have been no additions or replacements, whereas in 1939 there were over 1,200 new arrivals.

Camel: “I’m looking for Mrs Gibson, heh-heh- yes that’s right.”

Voiceover: Well, this is likely to be a long business… so let’s cut out the monkey business and get a move on.

Screen shows sign reading “Zoo Insect House fleas”.

Voiceover: Oh yes, they even check these too. They never run short of them.

Census official as he holds up magnifying glass: “Sal?” “Montague?” “Cecil?”
“Marmaduke”, “Now where’s Oscar?” “Where’s Oscar?”

Census official looks behind cameraman’s ear: “Ah. Oscar? That’s not Oscar!”

Census official approaches man with parrot on shoulder: “So this is old Bill, the 100-year-old one isn’t it?”

Man: “That’s the one.”

Bill the parrot: “I have a lawyer.”

Man: “I beg your pardon?”

Census official: “Hello Bill.”

Bill the parrot: “Hello.”

Census official: “How old are you, Bill?”

Bill the parrot: “Shake hands?”

Census official: “No no, I’m not going to shake hands.”

Man: “Shake hands.”

Bill the parrot: “No I don’t want to shake hands.”

Man: “Oh you don’t want to shake hands, alright!”

Census official: “Alright. Well I’ll put your name down then, shall I?”

Bill the parrot: “Hello!”

Bill the parrot: “Oh hello!”

Man: “Hello Bill!”

Bill the parrot: “I want to come out!”

Man: “You want to come out? Give me a kiss. There you are, then. Now are you satisfied, eh?”

Census official: “Now, here here here – what is Hitler? Eh?”

Bill the parrot makes unintelligible noise.

Census official: “What is Hitler?”

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