Aztec the alpaca is back in shape

PUBLISHED: 11:57 21 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:51 11 May 2010

AZTEC with livestock manager Kirstie Wilde. 3122DW098

AZTEC with livestock manager Kirstie Wilde. 3122DW098

AN osteopath has helped to put the romance back into the life of a rather unusual patient. Aztec, seven, is a male alpaca, who lives at Morden Hall Farm in Guilden Morden. He is one of six stud animals kept at the farm, but was left unable to mate after h

AZTEC is checked over by osteopath Claire Short

AN osteopath has helped to put the romance back into the life of a rather unusual patient.

Aztec, seven, is a male alpaca, who lives at Morden Hall Farm in Guilden Morden.

He is one of six stud animals kept at the farm, but was left unable to mate after he hurt his back.

After noticing that Aztec had a problem, owners Peter and Janet Garner called in the services of animal osteopath Claire Short, who practices at the Ashgrove Clinic in Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire.

Miss Short, who is originally from Ashwell, said: "Even an untrained person could tell that he was walking crooked and it was obvious that there was something not right with his back end.

"The joints of the spine and the pelvis had just got a bit stuck, like a hinge that is not working properly.

"In the same way that you would wobble a hinge to get it moving, we do exactly the same in osteopathy to get the joint functioning better."

Aztec was first treated in July 2007 and, after just two sessions, he was cured.

In the last 12 months, he has gone on to father eight healthy offspring, namely Benjamin, Chuzzlewit, Kit, Maddie, Matilda, Matthew, Mr Bumble and Sabrina.

Miss Short confirmed that Aztec should not need any more treatment.

And after learning about his children, she joked: "I guess I have brought the romance back into his life!"

Alpacas are members of the South American camelid family and come mainly from Peru and Chile, where they have been domesticated for thousands of years.

Aztec, who is worth at least £5,000, is one of about 130 alpacas which live at Morden Hall Farm.

The alpacas are bred for their wool, which can be used to make a range of luxurious garments.

Alpacas typically live for about 20 years and females can produce one baby alpaca, or cria, each year for most of their adult lives.

There are currently between 15,000 and 20,000 alpacas living in the UK.

Morden Hall Farm is to hold an open day on Sunday, September 14.

Visitors will be able to meet the alpacas and see a range of garments made from their wool.

Gates open at 10.30am and parking is free.

There will be a suggested entry fee of £2 and the money raised will be donated to charity.

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