Who killed Al the alpaca?

Unlike Cecil the lion, shot by a Bloomington dentist in Zimbabwe last summer, causing an international uproar, Al the alpaca went pretty quietly. His death in Dassel, Minn., however, deserves at least equal attention.

“Monday afternoon (Oct.12) I looked out my back window, and I saw the alpaca just stretched out,” owner Irene Bender tells the Litchfield Independent Review. “I should’ve gone down right away to look, but I had this cold.

She figured Al was sunbathing. But Al was dead, shot by an unknown assailant.

Even worse, perhaps, the person who shot Al, shot him from behind.

“I’m not saying it’s kids,” Bender added. “I think it’s somebody, I feel, who is not a responsible gun owner.”

Bender’s neighbor, who couldn’t be reached for comment, suspected someone shot the alpaca for bragging rights, she said.

“I don’t think whoever did it would come back,” Bender said. “I don’t live in fear.”

Bender’s pasture where her alpacas graze is located behind her home and can’t be seen from the road. “It had to be someone who is on the other person’s land because all of my land is fenced in,” Bender said.

She says since Al was murdered, Abe, her other alpaca, hasn’t been quite right. Alpacas are social animals, she says.

The sheriff’s department reports it has no suspects.

(h/t: Mike Worcester)