Epsom and Ewell residents were surprised to see some exotic looking animals at Nescot Animal Care Centre last week after three Peruvian alpacas were loaned to the College for the lambing season to protect the much-loved, rare breed sheep from foxes.
‘They do look appealing but you wouldn’t want to mess with them. They’re very protective of the sheep and lambs and, when a big dog fox tries to take one, they’ll just drive it off,’ said Zoe Brown, of the Animal Care Centre.
As well as being effective guard dogs, the alpacas, which are close relatives of the llama, keep spirits high during the bleak winter months with their habit of humming to one another.
‘They do it constantly,’ says Zoe, ‘when they’re relaxed it’s a lovely gentle sound, but if they are worried about something it takes on a distinctly warning note.’
The alpacas have been loaned to The Nescot Animal Care Centre, which specialises in the care of native and exotic animals in an urban setting, by Vauxhall City Farm in South London.
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