These alpacas just had a fresh haircut and they look like shear (ahem) unbridled joy now.
In case you didn’t know, alpacas – animals native to South America and closely related to the llama – need shearing every year because their thick fur can grow too long and cause the animals undue distress. However, shearing is a difficult process, so one alpaca farmer decided to inject some fun, flair and style into proceedings.
You can check out the results – and the subsequent style tips – in the video below:
Meet Helen Kendall Smith: the best British alpaca hairdresser. Helen, a 53-year-old mum-of-three from Cirencester, Gloucestershire, cut ten of her 30-strong flock’s locks to celebrate her tenth year of breeding the alpacas at Kensmyth Alpaca Stud.
Dissatisfied with a run-of-the-mill barnet for her boys, Helen sketched out some unusual designs before turning her ideas into a reality using clippers, explaining, “What was important is the alpaca enjoyed the experience” of being pampered.
She fashioned one alpaca to look like a poodle, gave others a mohawk and a stripey coat. One lucky winner even got a pre-historic makeover when Helen sheared him in the style of a dinosaur.
Helen actually lost money from her alpaca’s new lid, telling SWNS:
The “blanket” is the best part of the fleece on the alpaca so shearing in such a funky manner meant we lost a little of the best parts of the fleece this year – but it is worth it. I wanted to show people a more humorous side to alpaca in times when farming seems really low.
I have only done this with alpaca I know really well who were happy to have it done and who relish the attention they are getting. My alpaca males do not mind being sheared. They love the attention they are getting as the weather changed immediately after they were sheared so they have loved being in at night and extra feeding.
The former livestock farmer explained she wouldn’t try shearing females – presumably because every woman knows the pain of a bad haircut.
Helen’s alpacas can sell for tens-of-thousands of pounds each; but surely these men’s manes will make them the cream of the crop.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.