SHEAR FUN: Alpacas given hilarious hair-dos

The Sun
By: Hannah Crouch 
Photo: By Manasi Kaushik

A HERD of alpacas have been given hilarious hair-dos and styled to look like a poodle and dinosaurs.

The woman behind it all is Helen Kendall Smith, 53, who decided to cut the locks of ten alpacas as part of her tenth year of breeding the animals.

The mum-of-three, of Cirencester, Glos., sketched some of the wacky designs before professional shearers turned her ideas into reality using clippers.

Looks included a poodle, zebra and lion.

One, which has a brown fleece, was made to look like a stegosaurus while others were given judge-style “wigs”.

Helen said: “We decided to give them funky haircuts I designed in order to celebrate our tenth year of breeding alpaca which we are very excited about.

“I designed the styles based on the type of fleece the alpaca males had and their individual personalities and colours – a poodle, a dinosaur, a mohican, and so on.

“I did some drawings but what was important is the alpaca enjoyed the experience.

“The ‘blanket’ is the best part of the fleece on the alpaca so shearing in such a funky manner meant we lost a little of the best parts of the fleece this year but it is worth it.

“I wanted to show people a more humorous side to alpaca in times when farming seems really low.

“I have only done this with alpaca I know really well who were happy to have it done and who relish the attention they are getting.”

The alpaca’s fleeces will be fully sheared in mid-May and the animals have their locks cut every year so to stop their costs from getting too long.

As female alpacas are pregnant for 11-and-a-half months of the year and must be sheared as soon as possible, Helen said she only gave males the funky cuts.

Helen pursued a career in sales until 2008, when she turned her hand to breeding alpacas – which are native to South America and are closely related to the llama.

The former livestock farmer now runs Kensmyth Alpaca Stud, breeding and selling alpaca and running sessions where disabled people can interact with her flock.

Read the original and view the photo gallery here.