Alpacas Fend Off Foxes at Highgrove
During a recent visit to Highgrove, Prince Charles' organic farm, the guide very proudly announced that they had not lost any lambs this season. Everyone oohed and aahed very knowledgeably, but this Treehugger didn't know what they were talking about... Now the story is becoming clearer: the Prince keeps 4 South American alpacas which are used to fend off the foxes that eat the lambs at Highgrove. Since the banning of the fox hunt, there are lots of foxes around and they are killers. The alpacas are the new guardians of the Prince's 450 organic sheep: they regally confront foxes, chase them and try to trample or kick them.
Alpacas are related to camels, and are domestic animals reared mainly for their fine wool. They look like a cross between a small llama and a large sheep and can grow to 6ft tall. They look all fluffy and adorable but can be very fierce. They come from the Andes in Peru and their wool is used for all those colourful Peruvian ponchos and hats. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was surprised when asked whether using alpacas was cruel to foxes. "Using an imported South American camel to chase British foxes is so bizarre, we have not even thought about it." :: Times