By: Mallory Stock
When people hear the word alpaca, they most likely think of cute fuzzy animals that live in South America and have big buck teeth. However, there are much more to alpacas than just a cute fluffy face. These animals are truly fascinating, and to show our love for them, we’ve listed some fun and quirky facts below.
- Alpacas are old… really old. Over 6,000 years ago, the ancient Incans of Peru domesticated these animals for their fine fleece. The Incans valued Alpaca fiber over gold!
- They are therapeutic animals. Due to their sensitive and intuitive nature, alpacas are great therapy animals and are starting to become more popular in hospitals.
- They have high quality, hypoallergenic fleece. Alpaca fur is similar to sheep’s wool, but it’s warmer and not itchy.
- Alpacas are the most environmentally friendly of agricultural grazing animals – they live lightly on the earth. Alpacas have soft, padded feet that do not cut into the topsoil. Sheep and goats are much harder on the earth because of the impact of their hooves, which are more likely to tear up and damage plant life and soils.
- Their fur is flame and water resistant!! Enough said.
- Alpacas come in 22 colors and hundreds of shades.
- There are two types of alpacas: Suri and Huacaya. The Suri has silky, long dreadlocks, while the Huacaya has wooly, dense, and short fleece.
- Alpacas and llamas can crossbreed. Their offspring are called huarizo and they have longer fleece.
- The oldest alpaca to ever live was 27 years old. Most alpacas live between 15 to 20 years old.
- Alpacas weigh between 100 and 200 pounds.
- Alpacas are a part of the Camelidae family. It’s relatives include llamas and camels.
And there you go! Just eleven more reasons why you should wear some fashionable and warm alpaca fleece.