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Alpacas on farms in Estonia holding out well during cold spell

Alpacas on a farm in Türi (photo taken 2019).
Alpacas on a farm in Türi (photo taken 2019). Source: Olev Kenk/ERR

The recent cold snap and heavy snow has hit farmers in Estonia hard, though some more than others. For instance, flocks of relatively exotic alpacas are hardy enough to withstand -20 degrees and below, and deep snowdrifts.

The owner of one flock of alpacas, Imre Heinsaar, whose farm is in Türi Rural Municipality, Järva County, around 100 kilometers South of Tallinn, says the animals are accustomed to cold conditions – their usual habitat in the Andes being at altitudes of between 2,000 meters and 5,000 meters.

Heinsaar told ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) that: "They're fine, while I don't keep them out all day either. When I clean up their stable, they go back inside, but generally the cold doesn't bother them too much. In their home terrain they can even experience ranges of minus 30 degrees at night, but plus 30 degrees during the day,"

Thus problems other farmers face with the changing seasons in Estonia do not affect this particular organization.

On the other hand, the cold conditions have caused a problem familiar to many farmers this winter, freezing water pipes.

This means that the water automatically provided to livestock kept indoors does not function, an issue which arose once the mercury dipped below the -20 degree-mark, Heinsaar said.

Somewhat smaller than the related llama, alpacas are native to the Andes of Southern Peru, Ecuador, Western Bolivia and Northern Chile. They are farmed for their fleecy wool, and also as a visitor spectacle.

The original AK slot is here.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Marko Tooming.

Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera,' reporter Olev Kenk.

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