Meet Pablo and Jeffrey - Lockdown celebrities in a Leeds village
Meet Pablo and Jeffrey, two alpacas with star attraction.
These furry friends have become somewhat of lockdown celebrities in the west Leeds village of Calverley.
They are currently helping to keep the vegetation in check at St Wilfrid's Parish Church after being gifted by a local resident.
John Corbin, licensed lay minister, said the alpacas had become popular with locals and visitors alike.
"They are adorable, docile and soft and have become star attractions especially during lockdown with many families visiting to admire them. And as well as being celebrities in the churchyard they also carry out essential work making sure that the vegetation in the large old Victorian section is kept to a manageable level."
John said one pupil of Calverley Church of England Primary School, which is adjacent to the churchyard, had raised funds to purchase a purpose-built hut for Pablo and Jeffrey to
shelter in during the winter months.
"The children love them and it’s wonderful that they will have lasting memories of their childhood that includes being able to engage with these animals," he said.
John said there was a sign saying 'do not feed the animals'.
"We supplement their grass diet with grain. In the early days we had people who didn't know better and were feeding them anything. People are well-intentioned but we have to careful what we feed these animals."
John said Pablo and Jeffrey were now a permanent fixture in the churchyard.
"They are penned in for their own safety to prevent them running onto the road. They are very gentle and friendly," explained John. "The church is on the lookout for volunteers to help look after these lovely alpacas."
The alpaca, latin name Vicugna pacos, is a domesticated species of South American camelid mammal, that live high in the Andes mountain range.
They are prized as pets and cattle around the world and there are no wild alpacas.
Alpacas are related to llamas, which are domesticated versions of another wild Andean ruminant, the guanaco. While llamas are used as pack animals, alpacas are raised mainly for their soft wool.
They are kept in herds that graze on the level heights of the Andes of southern Peru, western Bolivia, Ecuador and Northern Chile at an altitude of 3,500 to 5,000 metres (11,000ft to 16,000ft) above sea level.
* Anyone who is keen to get involved with the care of Pablo and Geoffrey is asked to contact St Wilfrid's via the church website: calverleyparish.church/*****************************
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