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Peruvian BTS fans adopt alpaca for Jin’s birthday

By Kim Arin

  • Published : Dec 9, 2018 - 13:07
  • Updated : Dec 9, 2018 - 13:07

Peruvian BTS fans planned the fluffiest birthday surprise for Jin, the band’s eldest member who turned 26 on Dec. 4. They adopted an alpaca and named her after Jin’s fictional alter ego to increase awareness for the vulnerable species of animal.

Jin of BTS with RJ in his arm (left), the newly adopted baby alpaca RJ (Twitter @BTS_twt, @BTS_Peru)
On Saturday, the South Korean boy band’s biggest fan club in Peru announced via Twitter the adoption of a 3-month-old alpaca who has now been baptized as “RJ” through a symbolic ceremony held at Qolqanpata Inca Park in Cusco, Peru.

The Peruvian branch of “Army,” as BTS fans are collectively called, extended the invitation to virtually join the ceremony broadcast live via Twitter, saying, “You are cordially invited to RJ’s baptism, (Jin’s) baby alpaca who has the finest fur of Cusco.”

The baptism was attended by specialists at the park, an Andean research center for conservation of vulnerable species, and 10 members from BTS’ fan organization in Peru. The livestream of the event was watched by over 16,800 viewers.

The name RJ comes from one of the characters of BT21, a collection of eight animated characters co-launched by BTS and Line, a subsidiary of the nation’s biggest web portal Naver. RJ, designed by Jin, is an alpaca with a polite demeanor and endless appetite.

Photos and videos of the newly adopted baby girl alpaca showed her wearing a matching iconic red bandana to the original BT21 RJ around her neck.

The alpaca RJ’s caretakers are the research center’s zootechnicians Jose Carlos Adriazola and Monica Odazabal along with administrator Eliana Quispe Rojas.

(Twitter @BTS_Peru)
Qolqanpata Inca Park issued a certificate of the alpaca’s adoption “in the name of Jin” on Dec. 3, a day before Jin’s birthday. The certificate expressed gratitude to the BTS fan organization of Peru for its commitment to support the mission of the conservation of Peruvian natural heritage and for “providing shelter to (Peru’s) flora and fauna.”

“‘BTS Peru’ is committed to support the alpacas of the Park as godmothers/godfathers of RJ, so that such vulnerable species can be rescued from dire circumstances such as human exploitation, inadequate care and poor diet, among others,” Jessica Cuadros Marquez and Shiomara Huamani Condori, two members of the fan organization behind the special birthday event, told the Korea Herald. “We want to help preserve this unique species of South American camelids like baby RJ.”

(Twitter @BTS_Peru)
Speaking on behalf of the BTS Army of Peru, Marquez and Condori said the birthday project had been inspired by BTS’ iconic message of love for oneself as well as others. “Just as BTS spread the message of love, we wanted to show BTS fans everywhere more of Peruvian nature, and increase awareness for protecting, respecting and loving the wonderful biodiversity of this planet.”

The Twitter announcement of the alpaca adoption credits the BTS bandmate for the meaningful undertaking: “Thanks Jin, for showing your love towards Peruvian vulnerable animals.”

By Kim Arin (arin@heraldcorp.com)

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