Here are some facts about alpacas:

Ÿ Alpacas are members of the Camelid family and are native to the Andes Mountain range of South America.

Ÿ They are primarily found in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. They provided both clothing and transportation to the Incas and were first commercially imported into the United States in 1984.

Ÿ Alpacas prefer the cooler climate, but can adapt to any climate.

Ÿ There are over 100,000 alpacas registered in the U.S.

Ÿ Alpacas are raised to be bred or for their fiber. They are generally not a food source.

Ÿ There are two kinds of alpacas: Huacaya (wah-KI'-ya) and Suri (surrey).

Ÿ Alpacas can live for 20 years.

Ÿ It takes 11.5 months to produce a cria (baby alpaca). Multiple births are extremely rare.

Ÿ Alpacas are sheared every 12-18 months and their fiber is becoming very popular with some retailers.

Ÿ Alpacas are alert, intelligent, curious and predictable animals who seek companionship.

Ÿ Alpacas communicate by softly humming, neck posturing, ear and tail positioning and head tilt.

Ÿ In ancient times, fiber was known as the, "Fiber of the Gods." Today, it is often compared to cashmere.

Ÿ Alpaca fiber is stronger and lighter than wool, yet it's warmer.