Gonville School adds two alpacas to their school zoo

Wanganui Chronicle       
By: Anne-Marie McDonald
Photo: By Stuart Munro   
Photo Caption: Chiquita Downie feeds the Gonville School alpacas - Arlo, left, and Vinnie.
Original content from Wanganui Chronicle.  

 The two new faces at Gonville School won't be sitting in class any time soon.

Vinnie and Arlo are alpacas and they join the school's ever-increasing animal population.
Two guinea pigs, four hens (plus an extra one that turned up at the school recently), a blue-tongued lizard, a cat called Techno and a pig called Wilbur all call Gonville School home.

Teacher Laura Baker, who is in charge of caring for Vinnie and Arlo, said Wilbur the pig had been getting "a bit lonely", so the idea came up for the school to get a pair of alpacas. The board of trustees gave their approval.

Vinnie and Arlo came from a farm in Stratford. Vinnie, the biggest and oldest, is 6 years old; while Arlo is 2 years old.

"Because he was born a twin, he was quite small, and he probably always will be. Vinnie is definitely the boss," Ms Baker said.

Read the rest of this story at Wanganui Chronicle.

Leptospirosis strain discovered in alpaca for first time floors researchers

By: Jill Galloway 
Photo: By Warwick Smith/stuff 
Photo Caption: Leptospirosis has been found in New Zealand alpaca for the first time.
Original content from Stuff.  

A leptospirosis strain has been found in New Zealand alpaca for the first time.

The disease is a known dairy cow complaint, which is sometimes passed on to dairy and abattoir workers.

New findings that alpacas are also vulnerable to the disease were revealed at the International Leptospirosis Society Conference.at Palmerston North. In humans it can appear as a minor flu-like sickness, but may put some people in intensive care at hospital with lasting kidney or liver damage.

Massey University member of the Leptospirosis Research Group, Dr Julie Collins-Emerson, said it was a surprise to researchers that a veterinarian testing a dog clear for the disease, found it in alpacas at a neighbouring property.

She said leptospirosis was confirmed in a breeding alpaca herd in Manawatū.

Two young alpacas died from the disease and 12 other pregnant alpacas aborted.

Researchers believe only a few cases exist in South America of alpacas found with leptospirosis.

Read the rest of this story and view the photos at Stuff.

National Agriculture Day 2017

National Agriculture Day        
By: National Agriculture Day  
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture  
Original content from National Agriculture Day.  

Did you know that each year the average Aussie farmer feeds 400 Australians, and 600 people around the globe?

You might think that farming is all about people in the bush wearing big hats, but it powers a much broader economic story. All told, agriculture employs more than 1.6 million Australians - in jobs like retail, logistics, technology and science.

There's much more to the story of Australian farming than meets the eye.

Watch the video at at National Agriculture Day.

Bambi Enterprises signs agreement to supply alpaca quilts to JD.com

The Daily Telegraph    
By: Cathy Stubbs
Photo: Courtesy of The Daily Telegraph

Photo Caption: Hard at work inside Bambi's West Gosford factory.
Original content from The Daily Telegraph

A company that started life in a Central Coast garage is on the brink of a major global expansion after signing an agreement to supply alpaca quilts to Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com.

Central Coast family-owned Bambi Enterprises manufactures a range of luxury natural fibre quilts at it’s West Gosford factory and is a leading supplier of bedding to major Australian retailers including Harvey Norman, Snooze and 40 Winks.

Last week Bambi hosted a delegation from JD.com at its factory — another step in the relationship with the Fortune Global 500 listed internet retailer which is expected to buy at least $1.5 million worth of locally made quilts annually.

Bambi Managing Director and founder Peter Witney said supplying a retailer like JD.com heralded a major expansion for Bambi including a bigger factory, more employees and possibly 24-hour operation.

Mr Witney said the first order of 1500 quilts had already been filled and the company was now looking at future expansion into Asia.

Read the rest of this story, watch the video and view the photos at The Daily Telegraph