Alpacas return to campus for Valentine’s Day

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Alpaca I
Credit: Nathan Mowatt/Brig Newspaper Flickr

The much-loved alpacas returned to campus in time for Valentine’s Day, for an event promoting the launch of the nomination stage in the Students’ Union Elections.

The South American camelids were due to make an appearance during Refreshers Weeks in January, but the event had to be called off due to thick snow restricting the creature’s ability to graze.

Bad weather in the morning of the alpaca’s visit led some to express concern that the event might be cancelled for a second time, but those fears were soon assuaged.

Alpaca II
An alpaca receives a hug. Credit: Nathan Mowatt/Brig Newspaper Flickr

During the event, leaflets were distributed with information about the upcoming Union Election season, including important dates and deadlines.

As of Monday February 12, candidates have been able to submit themselves for nomination in the election, a process that will close on February 26.

Already, candidates have been publicly announcing their decision to run. On Monday, current VP Communities Jamie Grant confirmed via his Facebook that he will be campaigning to stay in the role for another year.

As well as the four full-time Sabbatical Officer roles, the election will also decide who fills 13 Executive Officer roles. Students can apply for any position via the Students’ Union website here, where they will also find further information about the roles and the submission process.

Alpacas III
A herd of alpacas enjoying hay and human company. Credit: Nathan Mowatt/Brig Newspaper Flickr

While often confused with llamas, alpacas are more closely related to the vicuña. They are native to the Andes of Ecuador, southern Peru, western Bolivia and northern Chile.

The natural habitat of the alpaca is at an altitude of between 3,500 and 5,000 metres – over 3,000 metres higher than the summit of Dumyat.

An alpaca named Pisco, after the Peruvian alcoholic drink, was taught to surf in 2010. Due to the species’ inability to swim, he was fitted with a flotation jacket by his handler Domingo Pianezzi. It is unknown whether Pisco still surfs.

A video of Pisco the surfing alpaca can be found here.

Stayed tune to Brig as we bring you the most up-to-date and thorough coverage of the Union Elections.

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