The livestock at Otaio Bridge Alpacas are named after
native plants. Supplied photo
More New Zealanders have been won over by the charms of
This year's National Alpaca Day, on Sunday, May 4, gave
people the chance to visit alpaca farms, handle the animals
and see what could be done with their fibre.
One of the farms that enjoyed hosting newcomers was Otaio
Bridge Alpacas, owned by Ineke and Jacob van Neuren. They had
plenty of cria (baby alpacas) on hand to boost the cuteness
''What a great day we had on Sunday,'' Mrs van Neuren said
''The open day was a roaring success. People kept on coming
and everyone had a great time - a real alpaca party!''We had
three helpers and with the five of us we were kept busy all
the time, talking alpaca, explaining fibre, cuddling cria,
teaching felting, talking more alpaca.
''We lost track of the number of photos taken. And many fell
in love with alpacas, as we all do.''
Mrs van Neuren said the day ended with an unexpected event.
''When everyone had gone and most things were tidied away, we
finished the day with a new cria.
''One of our agisted girls had given birth late on a cold
afternoon to a prem girl. Obviously she hadn't read the
''So instead of putting our feet up, we nursed her through
the night. Well worthwhile, she is doing fine.''
The van Neurens were happy to arrange another visit for those
wanting to know more, or a first visit for anyone who could
not get there on the open day.
''As you may have noticed, we are passionate about alpacas
and love talking about them and their fibre,'' Mrs van Neuren
- by Sally Brooker