Alpaca my bags! Is there an Alpaca in your Sydney Apartment?

Pets can be great. They can comfort you when you feel sad, and provide companionship when you’re lonely.  At Lawyers Chambers, we regularly hear disputes about furry friends in apartment blocks, but usually they are of the cat or dog type. Earlier this year though, CCTV at the Discovery Point apartment complex in Sydney’s Wolli Creek caught glimpse of a larger and furrier type of pet – an alpaca!3C7CBE1300000578-4155322-Sydney_tenants_landed_in_hot_water_after_seemingly_taking_an_alp-a-18_1485338916285

Yes, the large woolly animal native to the Andes region in South America was found to be living in a small apartment in Sydney. The unusual pet was discovered when the owners were caught leading the alpaca on a leash into the building’s lifts, perhaps after its daily walk.

Building management quickly put up a notice addressing the complex’s newest fluffy resident. The notice does not express any shock at the fact that an alpaca has made its way as a pet in an apartment, but seemed more concerned about the animal’s welfare, stating that alpacas “are not suitable for apartment style living…as it is extremely cruel and unhygienic to keep such animals in apartments.” While Discovery Point is a pet-friendly building, we can’t imagine alpacas are what they had in mind!

Known to resemble a small llama, alpacas are usually bred for their fur to make blankets and jumpers. An adult alpaca can grow between 81-99 centimetres and usually weighs between 48 to 84 kilograms. Alpacas share the ability to ‘spit’ with llamas, meaning this could be one stinky roommate. They also like to chew so are probably not ideal pets for apartment living. Not only is an alpaca not suitable for living in a confined space, they are social animals that belong in a herd. Keeping a single alpaca (and we assume there is only one!) is extremely cruel.

The Wolli Creek alpaca quickly became world-wide news. The story first started on Reddit, where a resident of Discovery Point snapped a photo of the letter on the noticeboard. Eventually, the story moved to the Wolli Creek Facebook page where residents demanded it become the official Wolli Creek mascot. Shirts were made and sold. There was talk the star would make an appearance at the Wolli Creek Fair for cuddles. Alpaca jumpers were requested.  The story even made it to international media in China and the UK.

Unfortunately, we do not know what has happened since the discovery of the alpaca at Discovery Point. It has not been seen in almost 2 months. We can only hope the alpaca has been led to greener pastures (literally!).

Perhaps alpacas are the true victims of Sydney’s housing crisis… we all know it isn’t cheap to have a backyard these days!
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The information contained in this article is not legal advice. This article is intended to provide general information in summary form only. You should not rely on the content of this article as legal advice. If you would like advice specific to you and your situation, please contact us.

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