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.