People called on to name first alpaca born in Tilgate Park

Little Bob the first alpaca born at Tilgate Park Nature Centre with its mother Mossie. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150205-213219001
Little Bob the first alpaca born at Tilgate Park Nature Centre with its mother Mossie. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150205-213219001

Tilgate Park Nature Centre has called on people to help it name its first baby alpaca.

Simon Woodard, centre manager, said the one-week-old male was still wobbly but had started to run.

He said: “It’s a lovely looking little thing.

“The visitors that have seen it really like it.

“It’s got a very long neck and legs, big feet but a very small body.

“They look a bit odd.”

Some 20 people watched Flossie, 5, become the centre’s first alpaca mother on April 25.

The birth happened at around lunchtime and lasted for 15 minutes.

Simon said the male cria (baby alpaca) wiggled for around half an hour before standing up for the first time.

The baby weighed eight kilos at birth.

Hundreds of people responded to photos of the cria on social media.

Staff asked people to name him on Tilgate Park’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/tilgatepark).

Stacey Beaven suggested naming him Herbie after noting alpacas were herbivores.

Sarah Nimmo visited the park on the day.

On social media, she said: “He looked so cute.

“Tilgate has changed so much now! Loved going since I was young.”

Alpacas are indigenous to the Andes and look like small llamas.

Females give birth standing up after an 11-month pregnancy.

Simon said: “It’s nice and strong and starting to run around a bit more.

“The other females are very attentive of it.

“They watch what you’re doing when you go near it.”

The two female alpacas were due to give birth in weeks.

He added: “It’ll be nice when there’s another born because then they will be waltzing around chasing each other and playing in the field like big lambs.”

The baby boy and any other males born will be moved to another site in the autumn.

Female cria would stay to mate with the centre’s two adult males.

Simon said the centre’s animals were comfortable with people and the climate.

They are sheered and have access to a pond to cool down in the summer. They live into their late teens.