Terrified alpaca runs screaming for safety near herd dogs

WildCreaturesPublished: August 9, 2018142 plays$0.17 earned
Published: August 9, 2018

Alpacas are interesting animals that closely resemble the llama. They look very similar, although much smaller. Both are part of the camel family. Originating from South America, usually Peru, they are becoming more common in North America on farms that raise them for wool production.

We can see these alpacas engaging in play fighting or dominance behavior. It appears to be a fun game, and it may be a form of play, but the goal is for one male to immobilize the head and neck of the weaker alpaca to show superior strength and dominance.

This play fighting became more aggressive and some of the alpacas actually began biting half-heartedly at the others. The black alpaca began running away and the brown one decided to chase it. Relentless, it followed the submissive alpaca even to the far corners of the pasture. The brown alpaca became very distressed and started screaming. This evoked no sympathy from the brown alpaca. If the goal was dominance, this only made the situation worse.

Eventually, two muremma sheepdogs reacted to the noise. Protective of the herd, they will stand guard and confront any person or predator that tries to enter the pasture. Tall and strong, they are a force to reckoned with, but they seemed slightly confused about what to do with fighting alpacas. They wandered among the herd and looked on curiously.

The black alpaca ran for the protection of the dogs, much like a younger sibling running for his parents when the older sibling begins tormenting him. In this case, the presence of the dogs was enough to deter the aggressive alpaca and the fighting stopped. It's not unusual to see alpacas, or any other social animal behaving in a way that helps establish dominance or pecking order. In fact, it's a natural part of herd social structure. But it does seem very unusual to hear a large alpaca running through a pasture screaming in such a loud voice. Watching this, you couldn't help but feel sorry for him and want to step in to help put the bully in his place.

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