Alpacas belong to the New World camelid family, along with the vicunjas, guanacos and llamas.
They originate from the mountainous areas of South America, where domestication began around 7,000 years ago. Alpacas, therefore, are one of the earliest working animals husbanded by mankind. An alpaca normally reaches between 18 and 20 years of age.
The Incas called the alpaca’s wool “the fleece of God” and alpacas were expressly bred for their fine, silky and lustrous coats. An alpaca produces around 2 to 6 kg of fleece and is shorn once a year. Alpaca wool is one of the finest natural fibres, together with cashmere and silk. The diameter of each alpaca fibre is around ¼ of that of human hair.
Alpacas are easy to look after. They only need a draught-free shelter, a meadow, hay and a daily supply of fresh water. There are two breeds of alpaca, the suri and the huacaya, with the two differing only in the composition of the wood’s fibre structure.
Alpacas are very observant, attentive and easily trained animals. They are eminently suited to deployment in therapeutic activities for the physically challenged and addicts. Our Andes camels, with their docile, gentle nature, are truly adorable and charming.