Visual Journeys of Eric Seals

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Video - Alpacas visit during Coronavirus

Thunder, Finn and Lego didn’t mind meeting total strangers this past Saturday.

They somehow knew all the smiles coming at them from the other side of windows meant they were strangers no more.

Nicole and Tim George of Belleville, Michigan, owners of IvyLu Alpacas, wanted to find a way to have their 3 alpacas bring some joy to the residents at Cedar Woods Assisted Living in Belleville during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“The alpacas are silly looking animals anyway and it’s not hard to smile when you see them,” said Nicole George.
Many of the residents have been isolated in their rooms for weeks as a precaution to COVID-19, “they’re going on their third week now,” said Nozmi Elder, the owner of Cedar Woods “and they’re ecstatic, I can see it in their faces.”

The mere site of these curious alpacas brought many residents up out of their beds or chairs to get closer look. Some were talking and interacting with them through the glass window or the screen.

“I think they’re beautiful,” said resident Margaret Carter who spent a few minutes talking to Thunder, an 11-year-old dark brown alpaca. “I’m talking to you; do you like that?” as Thunder just stared back at her with his big brown eyes and a mound of fluffy fleece on his head.
One of the many little connections made this day.

“And I think it made them forget about all the bad things that are going on right now and to me that just meant everything,” said Nicole George.

Story and video Eric Seals of the Detroit Free Press


  • Role Cinematographer, editor, producer

  • For Detroit Free Press

  • Date April 11, 2020

  • Type Video story

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