Life from Rising Sun’s Perspective
A King among alpacas
Why hello, human friend.
I’m Rising Sun, a bit of a stud (literally) ‘round the farm here at Shamarra Alpacas. And I’ve been asked to pen a guest blog to give you a little insight into my day-to-day life as one of the most prestigious ‘working males’ in the world of alpaca rearing. Frankly, I’m a star, baby.
I was born seventeen years ago, on April 16th in Meadowflat, New South Wales. The sun shone brightly in a blue and cloudless sky. The angels trumpeted. And my fleece radiated with grace and glory. That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but to this day, I’m one of the most photographed alpacas in New Zealand. Possibly the world, actually, thanks to the quality of my coat and the perfection of my face. I’ve also won my fair share of awards at prestigious shows, so I’ve got the hardware to prove it all.
Since starting my trade as a stud male in 2008, and relocating to Akaroa in 2012, I’ve fathered over 200 babies, or cria, as they’re called in the world of alpaca farming and showing. I’ll father some more in 2023, then retire. This year’s latest newbies are Pixie and Asahi who, by the looks of him, definitely takes after his father in terms of fleece density and lustre. What a heartbreaker! One of my progeny, Diesel, won the New Zealand National Alpaca Show in 2018, and another one, Galactica, is a multiple supreme winner with last year’s NZ National Show title under his belt. So both Pixie and Asahi have some big two-toes to fill.
A typical day for me is all about being an effective leader. Because while I’m pretty, I’m also the boss of my herd – make no mistake. My many partners and my offspring all look to me for advice on important things, like which guest on tour is the best to snuggle with, or which guide to bully into giving a little extra feed…
Speaking of nibbling and noshing, I do have to confess to getting extra special treatment in the form of a bespoke breakfast each day. It’s the perfect way to watch the sun rise over the Akaroa Harbour – with an aptly-named Rising Sun Breakfast. And afternoon tea is no different, with a treat just for me to enjoy. To be completely honest, sometimes I do let my royal status overcome me, and have a bit of a tantrum if I don’t get my food quick enough. A foot stamp and an audible grumble is my toxic trait!
Having said all that, I’m also a huge softie on the inside (and outside – as I said – PERFECT fleece). I’m regarded as the most tolerant alpaca in my herd, which is partly why there are so many photographs on the internet of me; I love a cuddle with a human visitor. Alpacas are renowned for being gentle, sensitive creatures, which is probably why we get so offended when you compare us to our spitting look-alike, the llama…
Anyway, I digress. The point is, aside from being a strong leader and eater, I also enjoy daily tours of the Shamarra Alpacas farm. It’s precious time to meet new friendly faces and to get to know our two popular guides, Lydia and I-Chen, even more. I love bonding with human beings so much, in fact, that my original breeders from New South Wales, Ian and Cathi, occasionally come to visit me and my Shamarra Alpaca humans, Frank and Anya.
With my 17th birthday just around the corner, I’ll be expecting a grand party and a public show of affection on social media. So keep an eye out for some more snaps on Instagram and Facebook of my good side (that would be my entirety), perhaps even another custom art piece, like this one below:
An astoundingly-accurate likeness of me on a typical day at Shamarra Alpacas, by local artist, Katrina Perano.
Stay-tuned for more Shamarra news, tips on what to explore around Akaroa, and perhaps even future guest articles from one of my many progeny.