Alpaca firing squad ‘called off for 48 hours’ in late reprieve for Geronimo

Geronimo, an eight-year-old alpaca from New Zealand, was condemned to death by a High Court judge after twice testing positive for bovine tuberculosis – but 85,000 have signed a petition to save him

Two officers arrived at the farm on Friday evening

A firing squad lined-up to destroy a beloved alpaca have been called off for 48 hours, it has been reported.

Geronimo, an eight-year-old alpaca from New Zealand now living in south Gloucestershire, was condemned to death by a High Court judge after twice testing positive for bovine tuberculosis (bTB).

But his case has been taken up by animal rights activists after news of his impending death was broadcasted across the world.

Two officers from Gloucestershire Police arrived without warning for a stand off at the farm gate in Wickwar, Gloucs., on Friday evening, as they reportedly explained how Geronimo would be humanely killed.

Geronimo the alpaca with owner Helen Macdonald,



Geronimo has twice tested positive for bovine TB


Tom Wren / SWNS)

The pair were pictured speaking to his owner, a tearful Helen MacDonald, who has promised to ‘stand in the way of any gunman who comes to destroy Geronimo’.

But, the Sun reports the firing squad has now been ‘called off for 48 hours’ -with the beloved animal appearing to have been granted a last-minute reprieve.

Animal rights activists will march on Downing Street this weekend to demand the stud is kept alive, after celebrity supporters Chris Packham and Joanna Lumley offered their support.

And more than 85,000 people have signed a petition to save Geronimo after his owner Helen MacDonald lost a four-year court battle to stop his death.

Geronimo is said to have been granted a 48 hour reprieve



Helen feared the Friday visit might have been the end of Geronimo.

She said: “Two officers turned up to the farm as they wanted to make contact and see what type of opposition they might be met with and if they would need organised back up.

“It was a bit of a recce it seems. They did say it would not be done today, but didn’t know anything else about timings etc.

“We did not know they were coming so everyone shot down the drive with their cameras. I asked if they had a warrant, which they didn’t, and they then asked if they could speak to us without cameras.

“They had a chat with me and my family for about 15 minutes and then they left.

Police talk to Helen Mcdonald



“They were just testing and wanted to see what the set up was, how many people were here and what type of opposition they would face.

“I did not say anything to them about what it is going to be like.

“They were quite concerned and said they had powers to come and keep the peace, which was all they would do.

“They are hoping it would all be done quietly without any fuss and that is clearly what they are wishing for.

“They said they only get one chance to do it and there is going to be a lot of people here.

Helen has promised to take a bullet for the animal



“But again, the police turning up at my home made me feel like a criminal.

“I don’t know when they will come back, but my guess was first thing tomorrow morning. Why else would they turn up like that this evening?

“Despite all the millions of people asking for fair treatment for Geronimo, it appears Defra are still planning to upset the will of the people.

“They have no regards for the evidence and no regards for mine or Geronimo’s life.”

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