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Alpaca Therapy welcomes the generous gift of baby Paprika

Genevieve Jacobs 19 March 2019 45

Glynda Bluhm from Alpaca Magic and Nils Lantzke of Alpaca Therapy load Paprika and her mum into the Alpaca Therapy van. Photo: Facebook.

It’s been an emotional rollercoaster for Alpaca Therapy’s Nils Lantzke. Last week, his beloved alpaca Mimosa was put down after being brutally mauled by an unleashed dog. This week, he’s taken delivery of a three-month-old baby alpaca called Paprika, thanks to the generosity of several local business owners and Hit 104.7’s weekend team – Ellie Mobbs, Bethany Larsen and Jason Roses.

When Region Media spoke to him, Nils had just unloaded Paprika and her mum, Papaya, from his truck after taking delivery of them. He’d paid a visit to his old friend Glynda Bluhm at Alpaca Magic at Sutton last week as both Mimosa and his surviving alpaca, Hercules, were bred there.

“I thought I’d just have a look at some babies and see if there was anything with potential. They all ran away except this one little one [Paprika] which came over and rubbed noses with me. She had such a sweet little face and I thought she’d be wonderful for the Mental Health Unit.

“There are some incredibly vulnerable people in the Mental Health Unit, it would break your heart to see some of the youngsters. So I was looking at ways of buying her when I got a call from Jason Roses from Hit 104.7FM, wanting to do an interview on the weekend.”

When Nils arrived at the radio station, he learned that the Hit 104.7 team had organised local businesses Terracon Legal, Papas Painting, Lit Consulting, Papas Projects & Alpaca Magic to purchase Paprika for him. Hall Stockfeed has also donated hay. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place – Nils says that everyone was emotional including Jason.

And they weren’t the only tears. Nils says that when he was bringing Paprika and Papaya home, he was overcome with emotion and had to pull off the road. “I put the hazard lights on and bawled my eyes out,” he says. He wants to thank each of the businesses personally and hopes that when Paprika starts working, they’ll take pride in having had a hand in making it possible.

Paprika’s mum, Papaya, will be with her for the next three months until she’s weaned. Hercules similarly arrived at seven weeks, and Honeycomb, the first alpaca so familiar to Canberrans from his trips around Canberra in the back of Nils’ red Mazda 121, came at just two-and-a-half weeks old. Paprika is mid-tan and Nils says she has “a really cute little face”.

Paprika will now learn to wear a halter and walk on a lead, initially in the backyard until Nils is confident she’s safe. She and Hercules will also get to know each other, although she’s already rubbed noses with him.

Nils says he has been “pretty overwhelmed” by the strength of the reaction from the Canberra community and further afield to Mimosa’s death. He’s had personal messages from as far away as Texas, condolences from the Australian Alpaca Association and the RSPCA among others, offers of alpacas from breeders at Leeton, Captains Flat and Goulburn and offers of donations.

“When I go out to the Mental Health Unit or the hospice I’m focusing on those people at that time and I tend not to think of the wide-ranging effect of the work,” Nils says. “I’m just glad I can do it for people, that I have the means to make them feel happy for a minute.

“I’ve always felt like the alpacas were a gift from God or Mother Nature but part of the condition was that I share them with people and create smiles and happiness. All I’ve ever done with them is to think up ways to make people feel better.”


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45 Responses to Alpaca Therapy welcomes the generous gift of baby Paprika
Ann Chaplin Ann Chaplin 12:42 pm 19 Mar 19

That is great news. Any advances on finding the arsehole dog owner ???

Lola Bootle Lola Bootle 12:43 pm 19 Mar 19

Very happy for you Nils. Keep up the good work.

Linda Leavitt Linda Leavitt 12:45 pm 19 Mar 19

Great news! What a lovely gesture!

Marissa Booth Marissa Booth 12:52 pm 19 Mar 19

Kylie Grieves.....awwwww!

Doris Andrews Doris Andrews 12:53 pm 19 Mar 19

So happy Hercules has a friend. Go 104.7 and Jason Roses

Wendy Smith Wendy Smith 12:54 pm 19 Mar 19

I met Nils on the weekend. What a lovely man! It was a pleasure to chat to him.

It was obvious he is still grieving for his loss but it is great to see that a new baby has been found. 🙂 Good luck Nils. Just keep doing what you are doing. Karma will sort the rest out. 👍

Ailish Vaughan Ailish Vaughan 1:04 pm 19 Mar 19

Thank you to all the amazing people that worked together to make this possible 👏

Leanne Hermes Leanne Hermes 1:05 pm 19 Mar 19

I love the new babies name. I am so glad that there is a new baby. Not that it will replace Mimosa but it may help heal.

Tori Jane ter Kuile Tori Jane ter Kuile 1:17 pm 19 Mar 19

Nick Wynne Paprika!!!!!

Faye Dela Torre Salcedo Faye Dela Torre Salcedo 1:23 pm 19 Mar 19

Canberra blessed to have a loving community ♥️♥️♥️

Jodi Diedrich Jodi Diedrich 1:27 pm 19 Mar 19

Brendon Carroll PAPRIKA 😍 see Alan could help people.

Jen White Jen White 1:28 pm 19 Mar 19

Ross show jaimie 🥰

Mandy Nelson Mandy Nelson 1:29 pm 19 Mar 19

Awwwww that’s wonderful news.

Tish Arellano Amaro Munro Tish Arellano Amaro Munro 1:30 pm 19 Mar 19

Phil Munro Bunny this is the alpac man I was telling you about 🦙

    Esther Duffy Smith Esther Duffy Smith 1:38 pm 19 Mar 19

    This news of the dog attack was devastating. They live close to us and we often see them out while walking

    Phil Munro Phil Munro 2:20 pm 19 Mar 19

    Nice ending to an horrific incident.

Kay Jones Kay Jones 1:34 pm 19 Mar 19


Mick Andrews Mick Andrews 1:44 pm 19 Mar 19

Fantastic, This melts my heart Bec Andrews

Melinda Gonczarek Melinda Gonczarek 1:46 pm 19 Mar 19

Baby Paprika - that is adorable. Best name! Little Paprika is in for a wonderful life with Nils and Hercules :)

Robin Tennant-Wood Robin Tennant-Wood 1:57 pm 19 Mar 19

There are more good people in the world than bad. We need to remember that. Well done, Canberra.

Amy Maree Fowler Amy Maree Fowler 2:35 pm 19 Mar 19

This warms my cold dead heart Timothy

Janine Burge Janine Burge 3:18 pm 19 Mar 19

Well deserved, a very close family member of mine got the pleasure of your amazing animals in the last weeks of her life. Thank u so much.

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