An alpaca who has brought joy to hundreds of people on treks in Norfolk has retired. 

Carlos the alpaca, believed to be around 17 years old, has been leading his pack on walks for the last five years. 

Tom Boggan, owner of Wymondham Alpacas, first acquired Carlos and two other alpacas as pets five years ago from a farmer who was looking to downsize. 

Eastern Daily Press: Carlos the alpaca Carlos the alpaca (Image: Wymondham Alpacas)Mr Boggan then started his alpaca trekking business in 2019 as the activity became popular around the country.

The firm now has 11 alpacas and three llamas and has just reopened for the season following a winter break due to the wet weather. 

He recently made the decision to retire Carlos from trekking after he began to show signs of ageing and the alpaca recently started a trial of pain medication for suspected arthritis in his neck. 

READ MORE: Pick-you-own sunflower field returning with new dining and music events

Eastern Daily Press: Carlos has suspected arthritis in his neck, with owner Tom BogganCarlos has suspected arthritis in his neck, with owner Tom Boggan (Image: Wymondham Alpacas)

Mr Boggan said: "Although it's a business, they are my pets first and foremost.

"At the end of the day, it's all about what's best for the animal and Carlos deserves a rest now.

"He's been the herd's alpha alpaca since I got him and he was a very good alpha. 

READ MORE: Spring Fair launching at Norfolk venue with more than 40 stalls

Eastern Daily Press: Carlos visiting a retirement homeCarlos visiting a retirement home (Image: Wymondham Alpacas)"As the lead, he was the one at the front of the pack expected to deal with any danger that may arise, so he was our brave and fearless leader.

​"Although I've got alpacas that like walking they don't always want to lead so that's a bit of a hiccup I've got now but we'll find a way. 

"All the alpacas have different personalities - Carlos is a round lovely friendly-natured animal, but also not shy.

"He will still be here for meet and greets in the paddock and who knows, if he improves as summer approaches I may walk him out with me from time to time."