AN ALPACA has been left orphaned after the senseless slaughter of his family on a Southern Downs property at the weekend.
The shocking discovery of seven alpacas that had been shot dead at point-blank range was made by residents on a neighbouring property.
Graham and Donna Parker had been taking care of the animals on the Lyra property while the owners were away.
Mrs Parker entered the property on Monday morning to tend to the owners' chickens, when she discovered one dead alpaca at the bottom of the driveway.
After sharing the news with her husband, Mr Parker went searching for the other alpacas and discovered them dead in a creek.
All the animals had been shot once in the head, while one had also been shot in the shoulder.
Mr Parker said he was "furious" when he realised they had been shot.
"What sort of depraved mind would senselessly slaughter innocent placid animals like that and come onto someone's property to do it? It's beyond words," Mr Parker said.
"It's a low, vermin, dog act."
After phoning the police, Mr Parker then waded into the creek to pull out the dead alpacas.
"The creek is not running so we couldn't leave it in the creek because it would have poisoned a whole stretch of water," he said.
A distressed but alive six-month-old alpaca named Rocky was also found on the property.
Mr and Mrs Parker, who also own alpacas, have taken the baby in so he can be bottle-fed.
Anyone with information is urged to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800333000 or Wallangarra Police on 46843120.