Packing up for a walk on the beach is a whole new experience in Grand-Barachois, N.B., where people can now go for a stroll accompanied by a llama or an alpaca.
“I think it is unique and people don’t see it around here,” said Josee Gautreau, who started up a tour company called Llama-zing adventures last week.
Gautreau said she got the idea to launch llama and alpaca walking tours after taking her baby alpacas to the beach last summer and seeing how much people were drawn in by their furry little faces.
“They would fit in my Mazda 3,” she said.
Gautreau started her business after getting approval from the province just last week and said she can barely keep up with demand.
“I have been trying to answer everyone but there are over 200 messages,” she said.
People can either choose to walk the animals along the beach in Grand-Barachois or on forested trails that run along Bear Creek in Haute-Aboujagane, N.B.
“When we are doing the tours everyone is social distancing they all get their own lama or alpacas and we have hand sanitizer and everyone has to sanitize before and after the tour,” she said.
While other businesses are struggling to keep their doors open amid the pandemic, Gautreau said she’s had to hire extra staff and plans to buy and train more alpacas and llamas for the tours.
“The amount of calls I have been getting are linked to the COVID and people not being able to go away,” she said.
Dean Reeves is a resident of the area and spotted Gautreau out with her small herd this week.
“They look like they belong here,” he said.
Gautreau said she wants to offer a unique staycation option for people who need to get their minds off of the pandemic.
“Animals are therapeutic as well and I think that is a big part as well is people need to get their mind off all the negative stuff that has been going around,” she said.
She added people need not worry, her llamas don’t spit at humans.View link »