Alpaca are one of four species of South American camelid: Llama, Alpaca, Vicuna and Guanaco. Llama and Alpaca are domesticated, Vicuna and Guanaco are wild. Alpaca are the smallest of the domesticated camelid species. They have a slender body and neck, a small head and large, pointed ears.
They are social animals that live in herds. These herds are not only composed of other alpacas but also include other species such as llamas, goats and sheep. Alpaca produce a range of vocalisations such as humming, clucking, grumbling and screeching.
There is only one species of alpaca, but two fleece types, often referred to as breeds. They are the Huacaya and Suri alpacas and we have both here at the zoo. The Huacaya fleece type is commonly described as looking like a teddy bear, and the Suri type as looking like dreadlocks.
Chile, Bolivia, Andes
Tropical, dry desert
Pasture grass, hay