Dear Alpaca Thieves, Please Return This Alpaca's Missing Brother

Alpaca thieves of New Zealand, please return Bambi's alpaca brother Charisma.

Bambi the Kiwi alpaca is blind, and according to the Rodney Times "relies heavily on Charisma to help him find his way around his home" in a north Aukland paddock. But ever since thieves stole Charisma "from under his nose on March 12," the Times reported, "he stands alone and helpless, unable to move."

New Zealand cops have appealed to the public for help finding the missing alpaca. While several reports have quoted local alpaca keeper Kathy Rademacher as saying that the stress of loneliness can kill the herd animals, Live Science has been unable to confirm or debunk that claim with biologists or veterinarians and will update this post if that changes. In the meantime, according to the Times, Rademacher has provided "a couple of her young alpacas to keep Bambi company."

Alpacas, as Live Science has previously reported, are docile, soft, domesticated descendants of wild vicuñas, which live in the South American Andes. They are raised primarily for their wool, rather than as pack animals like llamas.

They are "very social creatures," according to Live Science's past reporting, and "make a sound like 'mmm,'" a kind of hum, most of the time — though when threatened they "shriek," make a "wark" sound, emit a "warbling bird-like cry" and spit.

As herbivores, they eat mostly grass and are the smallest members of the camel family, standing just 3 feet (91 centimeters) at the shoulder and 4 to 7 feet (120 to 225 cm) long, weighing 120 to 140 pounds (55 to 65 kilograms).

Those facts aren't especially relevant to this particular alpaca theft, but they do generally make the whole situation a bit more sad somehow. Anyway, Live Science hopes the alpaca thieves see this and this inspires them to return Charisma unharmed.

Originally published on Live Science.

Rafi Letzter
Staff Writer
Rafi joined Live Science in 2017. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of journalism. You can find his past science reporting at Inverse, Business Insider and Popular Science, and his past photojournalism on the Flash90 wire service and in the pages of The Courier Post of southern New Jersey.