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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 February, 2004, 18:42 GMT
Exotic mammals to protect sheep
Alpacas
On guard: Fluffy and Attie should keep marauding dogs away
A pair of exotic mountain animals have been brought in to protect a flock of sheep at a park in Leicestershire.

The South American alpacas, which look like llamas, have been introduced to Beacon Hill Country Park after a number of fatal dog attacks last year.

The pair, Fluffy and Attie, have bonded with the sheep, and defend them by stamping their front legs at dogs.

Country park managers say that, with the lambing season just around the corner, the pair are very welcome.

Alpacas, members of the camelid family, were once treasured by the Incas in the Andes, and produce one of the world's finest wools.

Park managers say Fluffy and Attie's grazing habits will also help its habitat.

But walkers are being told not to befriend the pair - the alpacas need to stay wild in order to do their job.


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC's Victoria Hicks
"Alpacas stamp the ground to scare off predators"



SEE ALSO:
Couple spin golden fleece
24 Dec 03  |  North East Wales
Alpaca fleece improves
13 May 03  |  Cambridgeshire
Australian alpacas watch flocks by night
30 Jul 02  |  Asia-Pacific


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