Watch in wonder at Stevie – Banknock’s blind alpaca
His eyesight might be all but gone but Stevie the alpaca’s other senses are in tip top condition as he draws crowds to the Banknock farm he now calls home.
When Caledonia Alpacas’ Jen Hone and partner Cameron Pitcairn first set eyes on 10-month-old Stevie they were visiting a friend’s alpaca farm to buy some animals.
Jen said: “We saw him in one of the fields. He looked a little bit different and we asked what’s up with that alpaca. They told him he was blind – he had an illness when he was a baby that took his sight.
“The owner didn’t have the heart to put him down, but didn’t have the time to look after him so we adopted him and spent time making sure he was okay with our other alpacas. We are going to train a couple of them and give them bells so Stevie will always now where they are and can find them.
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“We think he can see a little bit out of his right eye, which gives him a distinctive head shaking movement. He’s also more vocal than the other alpacas in order to try and find the others.
“His ears also move a lot more than a normal alpaca’s ears. He just gets on really well and is in with the mothers and babies at the moment. He bumps into things some times, but he’s doing fine.”
Caledonia Alpacas is currently home to 25 alpacas, with another two on the way from Australia. Jen and Cameron organise regular walks at the farm so visitors young and old can meet and greet the animals. They have also become increasingly popular as special guests at weddings in recent times.
“We plan to have around 70 alpacas here in the next three or four years,” said Jen.
There’s no doubt who the main attraction is at the moment.
Jen said: “Stevie is a star. You could watch him all day – he’s absolutely beautiful.”
Visit www.facebook.com/CaledoniaAlpacas for more information.