New-born alpacas are the stars of animal centre open day

TWO new-born alpacas helped boost an animal shelter’s coffers during its first open day in more than a year.

Wetheriggs Animal Rescue Centre, at Thorpe Farm, near Greta Bridge, held an open day early in October to mark the opening of its refurbished reptiles hall, but it was baby alpacas out on the fields that stole visitors’ hearts.

Almost £1,000 was raised on the day, which will help keep the centre going after two years of hardship during the coronavirus lockdowns.

Apprentice manager Matthew Lynn said the new arrivals went down a treat.

He added: “One of them was born on my birthday on September 14 and the other was born only a few days before the open day.”
All animals born in the same year are given name staring with the same letter. 2022 is “L” and the first born, a male, was called Lazaro.

The latest addition is a female and the centre is asking people to come up with a suitable name.
Centre operator Terry Bowes said: “Luna is a favourite. It makes a lot of sense because she was born during a full moon.” Along with being able to see the exotic animals and the new reptile hall, visitors enjoyed face-painting and a tombola during the open day.

Mr Lynn said: “People spent so much time in the reptile centre, it was amazing. We had tortoises and snakes out. There was a queue for the face-painting, which was completely free of charge – she just did it out of the goodness of her heart.”

More than 160 people attended the event.

Mr Bowes said: “I think it is a new record for people on an open day, but not in terms of the amount we raised.”

He added that the cost of entry was the same as a normal day but with the added attractions.

Mr Bowes said: “I think it was a nice way of giving back to people for the goodwill and support they have given us over the years.”
People who wish to nominate a name for the new-born alpaca can visit the centre’s Facebook page and send a message.