Have a go.........at alpaca walking

Lancaster Guardian     
By: Nicola Jaques 
Photo: Courtesy of Lancaster Guardian

Photo Caption: Alpaca walking is a family activity growing in popularity.
Original content from Lancaster Guardian.       

The alpaca from Peru may well be known as pack animals and their fleece highly valued for its silkiness but they make great pets too and animal lovers are taking advantage of getting up close and personal with these lovable, sensitive and intelligent creatures

Why: Captivating, friendly and very cute , experiences with alpacas are growing in popularity. A wonderful family activity to get everyone outdoors and learning more about these animals.

How it works: Many alpaca farms are offering experiences where visitors can get up close and personal with the animals, during walking sessions, guides will teach how to halter, lead and communicate with the animals. Sessions can be an hour to around 90 minutes.

Benefits: Llamas and Alpacas are fantastic creatures at putting people at ease. They are known for their loving, friendly and non-judgemental characteristics and are now being used as part of therapy programmes to help people with emotional, physical and stress related problems. Animals can help people to re-focus them on their environment and instigate a feeling of trust in the animal.

Read the rest of this story and view the photos at Lancaster Guardian.

Alpacas attacked by dogs 'need more legal protection'

BBC News   
By: Diana Cervantes
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture 
Original content from BBC News.       

Alpacas and llamas farmed across the UK are increasingly becoming victims to dog attacks.

The National Farmers Union say although they are farmed for wool, the animals are not legally listed as livestock and therefore do not receive the same protection as sheep.

One alpaca farmer in the New Forest is calling for the law to be changed and the same legal protection to be extended to alpacas and llamas.

Read the rest of this story and watch the video at BBC News.    

Life in the slow lane with laid back alpacas

Teesdale Mercury  
By: Martha Sorohan
Photo: Courtesy of Teesdale Mercury 

Photo Caption: TAKE IT EASY: Doug Steen, centre, with trekkers Will and Katie, who wanted to do “something different” to celebrate a birthday.
Original content from Teesdale Mercury.       

It is well worth booking an alpaca trekking session just to witness the expression on people’s faces when you tell them your plans. Wendy Short joined Doug Steen for a wander down to the River Greta

Alpaca trekking conjures up images of marching up hill and down dale at a rapid pace, with the humans wearing sturdy boots and all-weather gear and their charges tugging at their halters, stirred by distant memories of their relatives, which are a common sight high up in the mountains of their native Peru.

But first-time alpaca trekkers will be quick to discover that this romantic notion bears little resemblance to reality.

Alpacas very decidedly move at their own pace, which is extremely leisurely. They steadfastly refuse to be rushed under any circumstances; unless, that is, this trait is peculiar to the residents of Jock House Barn, near Boldron, the home of Teesdale Alpacas.

Their “take it or leave it” approach to life was obvious when I joined Doug Steen and fellow trekkers Katie and Will, to catch and halter our chosen animals.

Read the rest of this story at Teesdale Mercury.

'Alpaca fleeces are 16 times more valuable than sheep's wool': Alpaca Joe brings the Andes to Ireland

Farm Ireland
By: David Medcalf
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture

Photo Caption: Alpaca Joe – aka Joe Phelan – with two of the members of his herd.
Original content from Farm Ireland.      

Joe Phelan does not have the flu, but he has gone viral. Or rather his alpacas have gone viral. Or rather he is smiling because of the 10 million 'hits' clocked up by his short video featuring alpacas and prosecco.

Many of the hits are on internet platforms of which he had never previously heard. There are limits to how many social media a respectable 57-year-old banker is likely to be familiar with.

But it appears that the world at large is now tickled pink by the image of South American ruminants appearing with fizzy Italian wine. Ten million hits and counting.

It should be stressed that the alpacas are not required to drink any wine. Glugging the prosecco is the privilege of the humans who join Joe for his regular 'treks' around the grounds of the Killruddery estate in Bray.

With the help of all the social media publicity, these guided walks with the alpacas have become incredibly popular, introducing the public at large to his flock of unusual animals.

Read the rest of this story and view the photo gallery at Farm Ireland.