New alpaca born just days after 'devastating' loss of premature Sparky

A new alpaca has been born just days after the 'devastating' loss of prematurely born Sparky.

A new alpaca has been born just days after the 'devastating' loss of prematurely born Sparky - Credit: Denise Bradley

A new alpaca has been born at a Suffolk breeder just days after the "devastating" loss of prematurely born animal.

Last week, an alpaca named Sparky was born one month premature at Hilly Ridge Alpacas near Bildeston, in mid Suffolk.

Due between May 11 and May 20, Sparky was born on April 11 but sadly died three days later due to breathing difficulties associated with undeveloped lungs.

Sparky standing with his mother after being prematurely born

Sparky standing with his mother after being prematurely born - Credit: Hilly Ridge Alpacas

When Sparky was born, he weighed just six kilogrammes compared with the expected seven to ten kg weight of a newborn cria (baby alpaca) and was therefore put into "intensive care" with the mother by Joanne Bridge, owner of Hilly Ridge Alpacas.

She said: "I slept in the barn with them to make sure they were okay and was giving Sparky regular temperature checks."

Sparky was given a pet oxygen mask by Suffolk Fire and Rescue

Sparky was given a pet oxygen mask by Suffolk Fire and Rescue - Credit: Hilly Ridge Alpacas

In order to help Sparky breathe, Joanne reached out to the Bildeston Noticeboard Facebook group in "sheer desperation", where she received "fantastic" support from the local community.

"I was amazed by the public support," she said, "Suffolk Fire and Rescue came to us with two oxygen cylinders and one of their pet ventilators which fitted Sparky perfectly".

Sparky being fitted with the oxygen mask

Sparky being fitted with the oxygen mask - Credit: Hilly Ridge Alpacas

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After several days and the premature cria showing some improvement as a result of the public's efforts, Joanne said: "We thought we had him."

However, Sparky's condition dipped again and on April 14, he died.

"We were absolutely devastated, it was heartbreaking. I was thinking, was there anything else I could have done?"

In order to say thank you to the local community that continued to express their concerns and well wishes during Sparky's life, Hilly Ridge Alpacas wrote thank you cards and also shared a post to Facebook thanking everyone for their support.

The team at Hilly Ridge Alpacas treating Sparky

The team at Hilly Ridge Alpacas treating Sparky - Credit: Hilly Ridge Alpacas

However, just a few days later, another alpaca was born and two more are expected to arrive in the coming week.

Joanne Bridge said: "Every single one touches your heart" and "after something like that, you almost dread the next one".

The three-day-old alpaca baby with mum Cosmo, seven, at Hilly Ridge Alpacas at Wattisham.

The three-day-old alpaca baby with mum Cosmo, seven, at Hilly Ridge Alpacas at Wattisham. - Credit: Denise Bradley

The new alpaca is still without a name and Joanna said she would be open to suggestions from readers for names beginning with the letter K.