A historic park’s newest resident has a name thanks to local youngster Lucy’s musical imagination.
Stewart Park’s latest llama came into the world on August 31, and mum Layla quickly had her on her feet.
The new arrival has also been receiving plenty of protective attention from the park’s male llama Winston, but she lacked a name.
So the Friends of Stewart Park decided once again to invite visitors and fans of the attraction to come up with a name themselves.
The competition attracted an impressive postbag with suggestions ranging from the topical and historical – Cookie, Autumn and Blue - to the weird and wonderful – Dalai, Callisto and Kuzco.
But the judges were all agreed their winner was seven-year-old Lucy Brown from Ingleby Barwick who chose ‘Melody’.
Lucy’s choice was inspired by the fact that mum and daughter hum back and forth to one another – and Layla’s name also carries musical connotations.
Tom Mawston, chairman of the Friends of Stewart Park, said: “The llamas are one of the most popular attractions at Stewart Park and it’s great to be able to give visitors a chance to name the new arrivals.
“Lucy’s suggestion of Melody impressed us all – it’s a lovely name which fits in well with her mother’s name.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming her to the park to meet Melody and Layla, and I hope she’ll be a regular visitor.”
Llamas are very social animals and like to live in herds. Female llamas are called dams while the young are called cria. Llamas are intelligent and can learn simple tasks after a few repetitions and as pack animals they can carry 25-30% of their body weight. Llamas have been used as guards for sheep and can live for between 15 and 25 years.