So you are driving or walking near Draycote Water when you catch a glimpse of a strange looking creature. What have you been eating or drinking?! No – you are quite right – the field is full of alpacas. The alpacas have been here since 1997 and are now an established part of the local scene. Early summer is a great time to visit because the young (called cria) are delightful. Alpacas come in a range of colours as you can see from the photos.
Where do they come from?
Alpacas come from the high Andes in South America and have been domesticated for thousands of years; their ancestors are the wild guanaco and vicuna.
What are they used for?
In South America they provide an entire lifestyle for their farmers (milk, wool, meat, hides etc.) Over here they are usually kept for their fleece, which is very fine: the adults had clearly just been sheared when I took these photos in late June. Alpacas are sometimes kept with a flock of sheep because they are fearless and help to keep foxes at bay. If you want to know more go and read the information boards or have a look at the alpaca farm’s website.
Have you seen alpacas anywhere else in Warwickshire?