Meet Rain Drop...
Drop is the first Bonny Doon website poster cria. He deserves to be first.
Rain Drop's story of coming into the world speaks of misfortune, luck, mystery and a happy ending.
Rain Drop's name is a reminder of his unique start in life. The
traditional way of naming a person amongst many American native
tribes is to create a name by describing a natural phenomenon that
occurs around the time of the person's birth. Such is the case of Rain Drop. His mother, with tiny
Rain Drop inside of her, arrived at Bonny Doon in the middle of the
winter. There were scant records though a progesterone test indicated
his mother was pregnant. Nobody knew how far into her pregnancy she
was until a worker found a limp, half-submerged cria (baby)
sprawled in a puddle during a torrential rainstorm. The baby was severely hypothermic
and barely breathing. The outdoor temperature hovered around 33
degrees. Both rain and snow were falling when the cria was bundled
in a towel and rushed into a warm house, where a thermometer indicated
the newborn's temperature was so low it didn't even register -- below
Why the baby was still alive was a miracle. Nobody knew
if he would survive. His body was cold to the touch, his eyes were
unresponsive and his breathing was shallow and weak. The baby was dried
off vigorously and warmed with a hair dryer while sitting on a heat pad.
Care was taken to use just the right amount of heat and at the right pace
so the baby's body would warm slowly and evenly. After an hour the temperature
reached 97 degrees, the bottom range of normal. In another
40 minutes the baby had reached a temperature of 99. Normal is from 99 to a 102,
so a collective sigh of relief was heard throughout the room.
The baby had
survived and was named Rain Drop, because he dropped from his mother in the
rain. Rain Drop was returned to his mother who had been moved to a dry stall
and began nursing in a short while and he appeared on the course of a normal
baby -- but it turned out Rain Drop was, well, a little different.
horror, the next
morning Rain Drop was nearly comatose again. The night had been dry and not too cold.
It was odd for a cria that was nursing and able to maintain a normal body
temperature to suddenly lose its ability to thermo regulate. It wasn't a good
sign and it was feared something was seriously wrong and Rain Drop's survival
was not assured. His temperature was again so low it didn't register.
he was slowly warmed and he regained interest in his surroundings and got up and walked around
humming anxiously for his mother. He was returned. For the next two weeks
Rain Drop repeated his near death experience some four times, sometimes
he recovered very rapidly but on one occasion it took a day of care
to get his temperature to normal. All veterinarians consulted about Rain Drop's
erratic body temperature were stumped. Usually animals that can't maintain
a normal body temperature are able to do so with assistance in a matter
of hours and those that can't maintain a temperature often succumb to
the elements. Scientists most familiar with alpaca babies hadn't known
an alpaca baby that went on for weeks with a plummeting
temperature, followed by a normal temperature. Luckily, the
mystery of Rain Drop's inability to thermoregulate ended abruptly in the
most desirable way. Just when Rain
Drop's caregivers had functioned with too little sleep for too
long, his body cooperated and his temperature stayed normal and is
to this day.
Rain Drop turned out to be an exquisite little
suri alpaca. He's
gaining weight (he's 3 month old in the photo) rapidly and he's so
full of life that other babies avoid his mischievous bumps and highly acrobatic jumps
He's gone from barely surviving to the life of the party -- a wild child
who likes to sprint through the herd at full speed and suddenly jump and kick his rear legs high into the air before racing through the herd
in a zig zag fashion. Rain Drop celebrates life and his wonderful body every
day. When he's been particularly mischievous (like after ramming an
adult who spins to scold him) he races back to his mom and stays close
to her side until he gets his nerve up again for another adventure
in his new world. Rain Drop's spirit and special personality are
much appreciated by the people who take care of him. Everyone at
Bonny Doon is proud of the fact that diligence and care during his
rough start paid off big time with Rain Drop, who has gone from a
basket case to the farm's most playful alpaca. Luckily most baby alpacas
don't require the diligence to duty that Rain Drop did but the
satisfaction of saving him was very rewarding. Rain Drop is developing
into a first rate suri alpaca that has all the best qualities of
his breed. Why he had such an odd beginning will never be fully understood,
but the mystery is entirely acceptable when the ending is a good one.
to the Currently Featured Alpaca Story