VIDEO: Alpaca-lypse helps Dundee students to chill out ahead of exams

The Courier
By: Nadia Vidinova
Photo: By DC Thomson

Photo Caption: Student Qing Zhao during the de-stressing session with the Alpacas at the University of Dundee today.

We all know how stressful exams can be.

But at Dundee University, students got to relax ahead of their assessments by petting alpacas on campus.

The fluffy creatures descended on the university as part of Dee-stress, a wellbeing campaign organised by the students’ union.

Animal lovers had the chance to enter the pen in groups of four and spent time with the alpacas, who are looked after by Bowbridge Farm in Fife.

Thara Packiahrajah, vice-president of the student welfare committee, said: “This was one of the events for stress relief that we have on campus.

“Normally we bring in dogs from the Guide Dog Society, but this year for the first time we decided to go with alpacas.

“We got the idea after seeing them on campus at St Andrews University, as part of a charity event. It seems to be well-received so far!

“We’re also handing out free water to keep everyone hydrated during their study sessions.”

Event organisers were keen to stress that the alpaca handlers were well-trained and treated the animals with respect. Students were encouraged to approach them slowly and never from behind, as alpacas are known to kick.

Farm manager Sarah Johnson said: “Alpacas are becoming very popular and are used more and more in therapy.

“They are very good for stress relief as they’re curious animals and very entertaining to watch.

“We also brought in activities like needle felting with alpaca fleece.”

One of the students who got to pet the alpacas was Elina Harkonen, 22.

The psychology student said: “I thought it was very cool. I’ve grown up around horses and the rules are similar, such as not to approach from behind."

“The alpacas were so fluffy and I definitely feel more relaxed!”

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