A first for Pets’ Corner – a cute baby alpaca born at the facility

A cute woolly baby alpaca has been born at Pets’ Corner in Aberdeen – a first for the Hazlehead Park facility.

Baby alpacas are called crias and this one – a male – was born to his mum Betty last Tuesday. He hasn’t been named yet and primary school age visitors to the facility will be able to enter a competition to give him a name, with details at the pay shed.

Betty has been a resident at Pets’ Corner for almost two years and is very popular, especially at feeding time. Betty and the other alpaca Archie eat mainly hay and grass.

Alpacas, which are originally from the mountains in South America, have a gestation period of an average 11.5 months, and usually results in a single offspring, or cria. Cria are generally between 7kg to 9kg (15lbs and 19 lbs), and are standing 30 to 90 minutes after birth.

Alpacas make a variety of sounds including humming - when alpacas are born, the mother and baby hum constantly. They also make snorting, grumbling, clucking, screaming, and screeching noises – the new baby alpaca and Betty have been heard humming.

In Pets’ Corner, the outdoor areas and the meerkat section are open so people can view the alpacas along with the new addition, however the adjoining aquarium/reptile building is closed as it is too small to let people physically distance.

People should be aware there are limited numbers allowed in Pets’ Corner to ensure physical distancing is maintained, and there is also the Track and Trace system in place.

Other animal attractions at Pets’ Corner include meerkats Dee, Don and Den, Mason the donkey, two cross-bred pigs, turkey, chickens, sheep, goats, Hector the Shetland pony, miniature donkeys, budgies, ducks, guinea fowl, canaries, ferrets, rabbits, and guinea pigs.

Aberdeen City Council operational delivery convener Councillor John Wheeler said: “The baby alpaca is extremely cute and it’s great to see how well he’s doing with his mum since he was born last week.

“I’m sure he will be a very popular addition to all the animals we have at Pets’ Corner and it’s fantastic people will be able to see him in person at the facility.

“The meerkats Dee and Don were named by visitors so we look forward to seeing the great suggestions our primary school aged youngsters will come up with.”

When Pets’ Corner closed for lockdown, a video was produced showing how the animals were faring with just the keepers for company and the video can be viewed at https://youtu.be/x98a84DPkC4.

The opening hours are the Summer opening hours of 10am to 5.30pm every day, and admission prices are adult £3.50, child 3 to 16 years: £1, children under 3 years are free, a family pass of two adults and three children or one adult and four children £6.50, Access to Leisure or concession £2, an educational group is adult £2 and child 3-16 years 50p, and a yearly family pass is £40.