These adorable pictures show an alpaca living in a family home in west Cornwall after being rejected by her mother and hand-reared by an 11-year-old boy.

Kind-hearted Casper Ward took on the parental role after his furry friend he named Tea was orphaned seven months ago – and they have become best pals ever since.

He hand-fed through the night to keep her alive and the closeness of their bond means the female alpaca now thinks she's human and that Casper is his mum.

They cuddle up on the sofa together every day – often falling asleep while watching television or playing games.

And Tea has also become a star during Zoom birthday celebrations as she "loves dressing up" and wearing a party hat.

Casper described her as his "best friend" and said he finds it relaxing to snuggle with her at the family home near Penzance.

They became inseparable after Tea was was found laying on the floor instead of feeding when she was born, a tell tale sign that it was rejected by its mother.

Casper's mother Celestine Ward didn't expect the animal to make it through the night, but her devoted son wouldn't give up and started to feed her by hand – and miraculously she survived.

Celestine Ward with her son Casper aged 11, and his pet alpaca called Tea Picture: SWNS

Celestine Ward with her son Casper aged 11, and his pet alpaca called Tea Picture: SWNS

Celestine, 37, who also has another son Harry, 13, said: "We live with my parents who have a herd of alpacas and my father went out when we'd had some lambs and one was laying on the floor.

"That means it was not feeding and it was very weak. We took it in but didn't expect it to survive the night.

"But Casper spent all of his time bottle feeding and syringing milk into this alpaca's mouth to get its energy up.

"It made it through the first night, which we didn't expect, and it got stronger and stronger and now we have an alpaca that thinks Casper is its mum.

"Its real mum later died so we can't give her back anyway, and the males in the herd rejected her. They shove her out every time we tried."

The lockdown routine involves Tea trotting up to the house, coming in for her feed and then spending a few hours cuddling Casper in the kitchen.

They often fall asleep together or Casper plays computer games with Tea in his lap.

Casper and Tea are inseparable Picture: Celestine Ward / SWNS

Casper and Tea are inseparable Picture: Celestine Ward / SWNS

She then returns outside for some "alpaca time" but will come back into the house to seek out Casper again.

She also loves to 'Zoom-bomb' Casper’s remote ballet and school classes and dressing up for birthday parties in exchange for a donation to charity.

Celestine says Tea and Casper now spend most of their time together.

She added: "In lockdown Casper has been at home so much more than usual and he's spent all his time with the alpaca, they're best little mates. This alpaca sees Casper and goes straight over to him.

"She goes out into the field to spend time with the herd, we've got rid of the males now and the females tolerate her.

"But she soon has enough of them and comes back to see Casper. He loves it, it's like having a living teddy bear that you can cuddle, she's beautiful and soft.

"She's choosing to sit with Casper and they play together. Most 11-year-olds like Minecraft and Casper's a normal boy, he does like playing games on his tablet, but he also likes playing with the alpaca – it's nice to see him doing something more natural.

Best friends Casper and Tea Picture: SWNS

Best friends Casper and Tea Picture: SWNS

"He's very hard working and would always rather be doing something active anyway. He does ballet and he dances with the Penzance Ballet School, he's hoping to go full time in September to a ballet school.

"He's named the alpaca Tea, we had one in the house a few weeks earlier named Toast so Tea was a natural choice."

Casper said: "She's my best friend, we like to sit together and fall asleep. She's nice to cuddle, I like that she's so gentle and calm – I find it calming.

"We'll be friends for a long time, they live until they're 18 – by then I'll be 28 and I'll be dancing with the Royal Ballet School and hopefully Tea will be with me."