A PORT Lincoln family has been left with expensive veterinary bills after their baby alpaca was shot, most likely with an arrow.
Kirsten and Simon Rough and their son Jai returned to their Walter Street home after being away for a few days during the school holidays to find their baby alpaca limping with a weeping wound on the top of its back leg.
When the vets cleaned and examined the injury they found a five-inch deep hole in the alpaca's thigh, which could have been made by either a bullet or an arrow.
As there was no exit wound as a bullet would have made, it is most likely the alpaca was shot with an arrow.
The family was told that around the time they left, three teenage boys had been seen wandering in the Happy Valley area carrying a hunting bow with telescopic sights.
Mrs Rough said the find of the injured alpaca was extremely upsetting for the family, and nursing it back to health was proving to be an expensive and time consuming effort.
"The alpacas are kept in a paddock across the road from the block of scrub where the boys were seen, so the shooter had to have been deliberately firing into the property," she said.
Mrs Rough said this behaviour could pose a danger for residents in the Happy Valley area, as this large area of scrub, a combination of both council and private vacant land, is regularly used by people walking, riding horses, walking dogs, kids on push bikes, and teens and adults on motor bikes.
"If you must let your children use weapons like this, please take them to a pistol range, archery club or other area designated for these types of activities where it is safe for others and where they can be suitably supervised," she said.
Mrs Rough said she suspected, or hoped, the boys may have been aiming for a large tarp-covered hay bale in the paddock and hit the alpaca by accident.
The incident was reported to police, who were also informed by neighbours about the three boys seen in the area.