Orphaned alpaca roams free in South Knoxville vet office, makes herself at home

Knox News
By: Heather Robinson
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture

Original content from Knox News.

Visitors to Riverside Veterinary Clinic may have witnessed an unexpected sight at the reception desk.

Isabella, a newborn alpaca requiring special care, lost her mother soon after being born. She luckily found her way into the caring hands of Dr. Leah Wulforst, owner and veterinarian at the Sevier Avenue clinic.

“The mom wasn’t well enough to keep feeding herself and the baby, so we think she died of fatty liver disease,” says Wulforst. "Isabella is about 3 weeks old and still needs to be bottle fed every few hours.”

A stranger to alpacas may picture this arrangement to be chaotic, loud or troublesome, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Isabella is a soft, fluffy addition to the clinic atmosphere and made herself right at home. According to Wulforst, alpacas are known to be extremely chill animals but often get confused for llamas, who can be much more unpredictable.

Read the rest of this story and view the photo gallery at Knox News.