Young alpaca dies after a man reportedly feeds it too much junk food

Young alpaca dies after a man reportedly feeds it too much junk food

No matter how stressed, upset or tired I am, there's one thing that brings me back from the brink, making me feel better in an instant. I don't know what it is about animal videos, but show me a cat getting confused by a DVD player or a rabbit eating some lettuce, and all my worries are forgotten in an instant.

It's not limited to the internet, either; I can't tell you how many times I've been late getting places because I stopped to pet a cat, or enquire with a dog about who's such a good boy (it's him). But just as big as that urge is to pet is the urge to feed our furry and feathered friends. But you should always do so with a great deal of caution.

We're used to feeding ducks bread, but doing so can leave them bloated and sick, and while Bugs Bunny often nibbles on a carrot while upsetting Elmer Fudd, your rabbit will die if you feed it too many carrots. You've always got to be careful, as an alpaca sanctuary found out in the worst possible way, when one of their young residents died.

The Creekside Animal Hospital in Middleburg, Florida is mourning one of their alpacas after it suffered a condition known as endotoxemia. The number one cause of horse death worldwide, endotoxemia occurs when an animal's bowel system is off-balance, and this one-year-old alpaca was stricken after a random man kept feeding it junk food.

On the whole, alpacas don't really have the biggest of appetites; the Alpaca Owners Association say that an alpaca eats about two pounds for every 125 pounds of body weight. That, however, does not include peanuts or Doritos, and such a diet can be deadly for a young alpaca.

Workers at the Animal Hospital say that a man driving a blue car is the culprit for this alpaca's tragic passing. They say that he would drive by the field where the alpacas would graze, and throw a host of snack food into their enclosure, to devastating effect.

"He dumped three boxes of animal crackers, one large bag of Doritos, two large boxes of cheese nips and two bags of whole peanuts. We know this because he leaves the litter behind every single time and we clean it up."

They say that they spoke to this man on four separate occasions in order to stop him from feeding the alpacas inappropriate foods, and in a Facebook statement, say they're considering moving the alpacas to protect the others from similar fates.

"…the little guy didn’t know any better and he overindulged. We did everything we could for him including a blood transfusion from his father, but when alpacas suffer from endotoxemia, it is rarely something that can be fixed. That being said, it took its toll on us and now we are in fear for the rest of the herd, including the goats. We will likely be moving them to a new location because we have no way to protect them from this person."

That being said, the Animal Hospital is wary of moving the herd as many of the females are pregnant, and the alpacas also love interacting with the children who feed them healthy foods like carrots or apples. They're asking for help identifying the man who drove the blue car that contributed to this young alpaca losing its life.