BATESVILLE, Ark. – Alpacas are unique animals in Arkansas, but one in Batesville stands out even more. It has a custom prosthetic leg that keeps it moving.
Cinco was born in May, and he was healthy for the first six weeks of his life.
“Somehow, he broke his leg and just continued to run on it,” said Caren Barnett, Cinco’s owner. “He damaged it so badly we couldn’t save it.”
The Barnett family operates the Blowing Oaks Ranch, which has become a destination in Arkansas to see alpacas. The Barnetts reached out to a local prosthetic company that had previously only made gear for horses and traditional livestock.
“He didn’t even know what an alpaca was,” Caren Barnett said. “When I asked him, he kind of looked like, ‘What?'”
Caren Barnett said the leg can be adjusted as Cinco gets older and taller.
“The pylon itself is actually adjustable,” Caren Barnett said. “We just take an Allen wrench and loosen a clamp around that and pull this pipe out as he grows.”
John Barnett said the plan is to find a suitable mate for Cinco for breeding purposes. He said the alpaca will live a long, happy life.
Perhaps Cinco’s story can be an inspiration to anyone going through a dark time in life. The determination to push forward can be enough. “It’s just sheer will,” John Barnett said. “It just amazes me the will from the alpacas. I’ve had other livestock that more or less they’d just give up and lay down.”