When two baby crias (alpacas) were discovered lost and separated from their mothers, becoming local icons is not something many would have predicted for their futures.
But that's exactly what has happened to Archie and Leroy, who are now considered well-known faces in the Goolwa township.
About the same time the COVID-19 pandemic hit early last year, Archie and Leroy became separated from their mothers at the Ambersun Alpacas farm in Mount Compass.
It is not uncommon for crias to wander from their mothers and require separate bottle feeding and human intervention.
This intervention came in the form of Jamie and Trudy Bishop owners of River's End Retreat, who jumped at the opportunity to adopt the pair.
Good friend Chris Williams at Ambersun Alpacas was more than happy for the Bishops to take the crias off his hands and soon Archie and Leroy were being bottled fed five times daily.
For the Bishops, the crias were a welcome distraction during a difficult time, with COVID-19 having wiped out all bookings at their retreat for the foreseeable future.
With the help of sons Reuben and Tommy who returned home for a few months during lockdown, the Bishop family lovingly raised the alpaca pair.
"Five bottles and two walks a day established them as adopted 'Goolwanians' and it was a great way to give out some smiles at a time when they've been in short supply," Jamie said.
"Archie and Leroy have now become Goolwa's alpacas. They're at the markets most Sundays and regular visitors down the main street and dedicated rose trimmers for the council!
"It seems that everyone enjoys their company. They even recently helped promote Goolwa appearing with the local nippers at the beach on Channel 7's national Sunrise program.
"Not long ago, they also had an amazing day at Sandpiper Lodge meeting all the residents."
Archie and Leroy now even have a dedicated social media following.
You can follow the pairs antics on Facebook via: facebook.com/goolwapacas
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