The London Zoo is calling on the public to help name a trio of alpacas that arrived during the coronavirus lockdown.
The three fluffy-haired arrivals are less than a year old.
They came from a British farm earlier this month and “instantly boosted the spirits of dedicated zookeepers”, said the London Zoo.
Members of the public are invited to cast the deciding vote on the alpacas’ names through an online poll on the London Zoo website.
The zoo, which is set to reopen on April 12, has shortlisted several names such as Alpacaccino, Snowball, Toffee and Cookie.
Alpaca keeper Veronica Heldt said: “It’s been a joy to welcome such adorable new arrivals during lockdown and we can’t wait for our visitors to meet the new trio when they’re able - we know it’s been hard for our biggest fans, who have missed seeing the animals they love while we’ve been closed, so we’ve decided to enlist everyone’s help in choosing the perfect names for our newcomers.
According to the keepers, all three alpacas have settled in well and will take on the role of becoming “wildlife ambassadors” when the zoo reopens.
They will help teach children about the importance of caring for animals during daily walks around the zoo’s 36 acres of parkland.
“The white alpaca loves rolling around in the paddock and is very skilled at avoiding us when we try to untangle twigs and straw from his magnificent cloud of hair,” said Ms Heldt.
“Our brown fluffy-haired alpaca is a real softy and likes nothing more than snuggling up to his pals, while the other brown alpaca, who has long straight locks, is the most vocal – he's a brilliant hummer, and we’ve all agreed he can really hold a tune.”
Ms Heldt added: “It’s been a difficult start to the year for the zoo, with the third lockdown meaning we’ve missed out on yet more vital funds from ticket sales; but we’re hoping the vote will help keep our supporters' spirits high as we count down to the day we can finally reopen - and are once again able to share our central London nature haven with visitors.”
Visit this website to cast your vote.