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Shear style: West Japan zoo's alpacas get 'cool' summer haircuts

An alpaca is seen shorn in the city of Ube, Yamaguchi Prefecture, on July 12, 2021. (Mainichi/Seiichiro Yanase)

UBE, Yamaguchi -- Zookeepers at Tokiwa Zoo in this western Japan city have sheared their alpacas' fluffy fur so they can stay cool when summer arrives.

    According to the zoo, because the alpacas are native to the cool highlands of South America, they shear them around this time of year to avoid them developing illnesses in Japan's summer heat.

    The zoo has three alpacas, with 8-year-old father Tucks getting his haircut when the Mainichi Shimbun visited on July 12. His mate, 7-year-old Jane, and 4-year-old daughter Sonia have already been shorn. Zookeepers laid Tucks down so he wouldn't run wild, and used the clippers on him for about 90 minutes.

    Zookeeper Naoko Mori said, "We hope you come and see our alpacas looking cool and energetic now."

    (Japanese original by Seiichiro Yanase, Ube Local Bureau)

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