‘Demented’ Blood-spitting Alpaca Launches ‘warfare’ Attack on Two Women

An alpaca named Harry has been euthanized after launching a vicious, half-hour attack on two women at a home in Australia.

Harry bit, charged and trampled his victims in the brutal attack that put one woman in hospital for more than a month.

Although he seemed like a cute new pet for the couple's hobby farm, signs of aggression were clear from the start.

The day Karen Stroebel’s partner brought Harry to their Mount Barker home, the alpaca snuck up behind her, bit her and knocked her off balance. “At that time my partner had a beer in his hand and was beating him over the head with the beer bottle and I was able to get up," she told Australia’s ABC News.

Just ten days later the angry animal lashed out again. But this time, it could have been deadly.

Stroebel and her 78-year-old mother, Pat, were working in the garden when Harry jumped over the fence of the nearby paddock. When Stroebel tried to return him, he reared up and forced her to the ground, she told ABC News.

“He bit me on both my arms and after I instinctively turned over, he bit me on the back of the neck and started to trample...my shoulder with his hoof,” she said.

Her mother bashed the animal with a broom, giving Stroebel the opportunity to escape. But moments later the alpaca barreled towards the women and trapped them against external corner of the house.

The alpaca spat and reared up at the women as they tried to defend themselves with whatever they could grab—brooms, shovels, rakes—in a fight that lasted roughly half an hour, Stroebel said.

12_5_Alpaca A grumpy alpaca (not Harry) is pictured in Telford, central England, on March 24, 2018. Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

As Harry’s nose began to bleed, she expressed sympathy for the animal. But her mother rebuked her with a stern look.

"It was just clearly warfare," Stroebel said. "[Harry] was spitting blood and everything at us and rearing up at the same time...His eyes looked totally demented, like his eyes were totally mad."

Eventually Stroebel’s mother, who has a heart condition, went pale and fell to the ground, her daughter stated. The pair “screamed and screamed and screamed” for help as Stroebel feared her mother might die.

A neighbor heard their voices and called the police.

When two officers arrived, the alpaca turned his attention from Stroebel and her mother. Harry charged one of the officers, but they were able to subdue the animal and return him to his paddock.

Harry was later returned to his former home, a farm, where his owners decided to euthanize him amid continuing aggressive behavior.

More than a month after the late October attack, Karen Stroebel is due to leave hospital after suffering spinal damage. Her mother, who suffered a head wound, has recovered well from the attack.

Alpaca farmer Mahlon Hotker told ABC News that although alpacas are normally calm, some males that aren’t castrated can become aggressive. "Herd males need to be aggressive and entire males are definitely not for pets,” he said.

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