Bouncing baby alpacas are a photo favourite
LOOKING suspiciously like lambs or llamas, a couple of cute newborns have been turning heads near Beverley.
The two bouncing babies attracting double-takes from curious passers-by are newborn alpacas.
Found mainly in Peru, where they are the sheep of the Andes, alpacas are an increasingly familiar sight in the UK.
Born to alpaca mums Nina and Chanel, the two new offspring have been frolicking in the sunshine in their field alongside Hull Bridge Road, between Beverley and Tickton.
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Born just days apart, the fluffy friends have become a photo favourite for intrigued onlookers.
Marie Baker bought the two pregnant mums and a third female, Coco, as pets.
Now, after pregnancies lasting more than 11 months, the newborns are finding their feet in their owner's field.
Mrs Baker said: "They are both girls but I haven't decided what to call them yet.
"Their mums and their auntie are named after perfumes so we will see.
"They've been attracting a lot of attention.
"People have been coming down and asking if they can take photos of them.
"I don't mind because some people are not able to get any contact with animals so it's nice for them to see them. They're something a bit different."
Many would expect to find the fluffy wide-eyed creatures in a zoo but more people are now opting for alpacas as pets.
A breed of camel originating from South America, alpacas are mainly found more than 6,000 miles away in the Andes.
But Mrs Baker became fascinated by the inquisitive creatures with long necks after seeing some alpacas in Devon, where she returned to buy some of her own.
She said: "They are lovely pets. They are very gentle and they are quite relaxing to watch.
"They make a humming noise when they talk to each other.
"They are pretty little things and they become more friendly the more they get to know you.
"But you can't get too close, you can't cuddle them.
"I have been able to stroke the babies but their mums keep a close eye on them.
"They might spit at you if they feel threatened."
Similar in size to sheep, but with long necks and soft fur, they are herd animals and easy to look after, surviving happily on grass and hay, with a low-protein supplementary feed including additional minerals and nutrients.
"They are quite happy as long as they get fed.
"They are quite content.
"They are very tight-knit and don't like being away from each other.
"They're a nice happy little family and very peaceful to have around," said Mrs Baker.
Alpacas are hardy mountain beasts, built to withstand the hot days and freezing nights of the Andes mountains.
But when there was a cold snap soon after the two baby alpacas were born, Mrs Baker dressed them in woolly jackets to keep them warm.
She said: "Out in the wild they need to be born by midday when the sun is at its highest point so they can get on their feet by dark so if predators come they can run away."
Now they have given birth, the adult alpacas can look forward to their fleece being shaved off for the summer.
On average, a fleece will weigh between 2 and 5kg.
Mrs Baker said: "They can get too hot if they are not shaved.
"I would like to get something knitted like a blanket or scarves from their fleece."