Alpacas (Vigugna pacos) are a domestic breed of camelids originating in South America. Alpacas are raised for their precious wool and were domesticated 6,000 years ago. Their wool was used to make the robes of the Inca kings. The Conquistadores slaughtered both the Incas and their alpacas, but some animals were hidden in the Andes Mountains by the few survivors and were raised secretly. Because of this their numbers are still low and they are considered to be an endangered species.
Alpaca wool has a natural luminous sheen and is lightweight. Because it contains no lanolin, it is hypoallergenic and won’t mat or pill. Alpacas feed almost exclusively on grass and hay. Their soft padded feet are gentle on their pastures. One particularly curious behavior is their habit of leaving their droppings in two places specifically chosen by the herd, one far from and one near their stalls, so as not to contaminate the grass they eat. Because of these characteristics, alpacas are often used in lawn and garden maintenance. Finally, their gentle and docile character makes alpacas suitable for use in pet therapy for people of all ages with mental or behavioral disturbances.
Our alpacas arrived from the region surrounding Trent in northern Italy on October 25, 2018.