Alpacas like to graze on grass and browse on weeds, leaves and shrubs and chew the cud like a cow.
The natural habitat of the alpaca is the Andes of South America where they live at great height, usually over 4,000 metres.
Worldwide, the alpaca population is estimated to be 3 million, with the majority in the South American regions of Peru, Chile and Bolivia.
Alpacas generally live 15 to 20 years.
Alpacas (Vicugna pacos) are a South American relative of the camel. Closer relatives include the domesticated llama, and the wild guanaco and vicuna.
They stand 81–99cm at the shoulder. An adult alpaca weighs 45–86 kilograms.
Alpacas come in a myriad of natural colours: pure white, the most delicate fawns through to grey tones, from the lightest silver to a warm rose grey, and a true jet black. There are 22 recognized alpaca colours but the fleece also has the additional advantage of being readily dyed.
Population: Worldwide, the alpaca population is estimated to be 3 million, with the majority in the South American regions of Peru, Chile and Bolivia. Today, the alpaca is farmed not only in South America, but also in North America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. The North American territories are estimated to have close to 60,000 animals with Australia having a similar number. In the UK, current estimates are around 10,000.
Behaviour: Alpacas, by nature, are very intelligent, gentle animals and are quick to learn, cooperative, and patient. Like camels, alpacas do spit but usually at each other and mainly over disputes about food. Alpacas produce a humming sound as a means of communication, along with head and ear posturing.
More of our animals you may like to meet
We are delighted to announce that, from Easter, we will be offering animal experiences for both adults and children. You will have a unique opportunity to go behind-the-scenes with our experienced...
If you love Beale Wildlife Park and want to give your nearest and dearest something a bit different this Christmas, we have some ideas that will also enable you to support our work as an animal and...
Our animal adoption tins make a perfect gift - a neat way of supporting the particular Beale animals that you love while also backing our wider conservation work. You (or your loved one) can select...