By: May Warren Metro Published on Wed Apr 19 2017
They’ve already made their social media debut and well wishes have poured in from across the city. But Toronto’s most famous new bundles of joy, the three High Park capybara pups, still need names.
Members of Friends of High Park Zoo are asking for the public’s help in naming the adorable offspring.
The three were born to international capybara celebrities Bonnie and Clyde after they returned to the zoo from an infamous escape last summer.
Names can be submitted online or by hard copy ballot at the west-end zoo. Suggestions will be pulled together in short list that the public can vote on.
Toronto Parks and Recreation spokesperson Megan Price said she wouldn’t be surprised if there are some themed names that come out ahead.
“I’m sure there’ll be some names related to bandits, or thieves or escapees,” she said.
But please keep suggestions gender neutral, as it’s still a mystery whether the babies are male or female.
Price said that won’t become clear until the animals are older, and the males can be identified by a scent patch on their noses.
“I think we’re looking for something that could go either way,” she said.
Friends of High Park Zoo Board chair John Formosa said he’s been surprised by the interest, the non-profit has already received over 1,800 suggestions on their website.
He added the board is toying with the idea of bringing in celebrity judges to whittle down the short list before a public vote.
The Auckland Zoo in New Zealand recently held a similar naming contest for a pair of capybara babies.
The two were christened Pepe and Pablo in a nod to their South American heritage, according to the zoo’s website.
Price said the Toronto capybabies are doing great, but won’t stay at the zoo forever.
“I don’t think the intention is for the High Park Zoo to have five capybaras permanently, but they’re not going anywhere before they’re named,” she said.