Captain Tom the clear winner in public vote to name Telford zoo's newest lemur

A zoo in Telford received an overwhelming number of votes to call its newest baby lemur Captain Tom.

Captain Tom the ring-tailed Lemur. Photo: Hoo Farm
Captain Tom the ring-tailed Lemur. Photo: Hoo Farm

The competition at Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom, which ran in October to coincide with World Lemur Month, received hundreds of entries from across the country.

The family-owned zoo, which has been in operation more than 30 years, has a number of its residents named after iconic stars and characters, such as Han and Leia the fishing cats, binturongs Rey and Chewie, Thor the fox and Loki the genet.

In the week when GQ magazine revealed Sir Captain Tom Moore will be their January front cover, speaking of the war veteran with a train named in his honour, Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom's partner and head Hoo keeper Will Dorrell, said he was not 'too' surprised at the name the British public have chosen for the ring-tailed lemur.

Sir Tom Moore (Gavin Bond)

Will said: "We launched a competition to find a name for our baby lemur who is now out and about exploring our lemur forest. We had some interesting suggestions but we went with the majority vote. We think Captain Tom will be very popular with our visitors."

It comes as the attraction in Hadley won't be selling Christmas trees this year for the first time in 30 years. It has also had to cancel all planned activities over the festive period due to the pandemic.

The competition supported the work of the Lemur Conservation Network, which aims to put the awareness spotlight on the plight of the Madagascan lemur. The world's oldest primate is one of the most adorable and popular animals but faces extinction with 98 per cent of the species at risk of disappearance and a staggering 33 per cent are categorised as critically endangered, the highest threat level. Captain Tom the lemur was born in July.

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