Keepers at ZSL London Zoo have had their hands full with the arrival of two llama babies – born just one day apart.
The first llamas to be born at the Zoo for more than 10 years, the two male youngsters, one brown and one white, have been named Mocha and Latte by their zookeepers.
Born to mums Dainty and Tiggy, the two cria – the name for baby llamas – took their first wobbly steps within an hour of being born and were soon being sniffed and investigated by Perry and Captain BeeGee, the Zoo’s adult male llamas.
Standing around three foot high at birth, Mocha and Latte will eventually tower over most of their keepers reaching a height of up to six foot tall, and they can weigh up to 115kg (18stone).
Unlike most animals which go into labour under the cover of darkness, llamas are one of the few species to give birth in broad daylight – ensuring the two youngsters had a rapt audience of zoo visitors to welcome them into the world.
Zoological manager Mark Habben said: “Dainty and Tiggy were pregnant when they arrived at ZSL London Zoo earlier this year, and we’ve been excitedly awaiting the arrival of these two little ones.
“Dainty gave birth first to Mocha, she was walking around her paddock a lot and stretching her legs – all signs for us that she was going into labour.
“Lots of visitors could see that something exciting was going on, and they gathered around to keep watch. There was a really amazing atmosphere – everyone was holding their breath in complete awe, and they gave a lovely cheer of encouragement when the boys took their first steps.
“The actual births were very quick for both Dainty and Tiggy, who took it all in their stride and were very relaxed throughout.
“To have one baby llama is exciting in itself, but to have two born a day apart is just fantastic and it was brilliant for our visitors to be able to experience this with us twice too!”
Mocha and Latte are out and about in their paddock in the Animal Adventure children’s zoo for visitors to see.