ALPACA (Vicugna pacos)

Alpacas are even-toed ungulates of the camel family, originated in the Northern Andean mountains about 4000-5000 years BC.  Their predecessor is  vicuña.

Distribution: Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, USA, New Zealand, Australia, Europe.

The first alpacas in the „Rakši” were imported from South America in 2008.

Weight: 54-70 kg

Height: 90-130 cm

Life Span: 15-25 years

Gestation: 11 months

Environment: highlands, grassy areas

Status: domestic animal


* Alpacas were domesticated by the Andean people because of their wool.

* Together with people 4000-6000 years.

* Ancestors – vicuñas.

* Live in the Andes Mountains in up to 5000 m highness.

* There are currently about 3.5 million alpacas in the world. 99% live in South America.

* Therapy animals – employed in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centres.


Ears: Shorter and rounder

Muzzle: Smaller nose, surrounded by curls

Weight: 50-80 kg

Wool: Fine, soft, silky

Character: Calm, loyal, gentle

Use: For wool production


Ears: Bigger and sharper

Muzzle: Longer, more angular, less hairy

Weight: 130-180 kg

Wool: Rougher, shaggy

Character: Independent, brave

Use: For carrying loads


* Live in harems.

* There are 2 different types of wool – Huacaya and Suri.

* Can interbreed with llamas.

* Males have particularly long fighting teeth in the lower jaw.

* Females reach sexual maturity 3 times earlier than males.

* The boundaries of the territory are marked with communal dung piles.

* To visit the toilet, the females line up in an organized queue. 

* They can spit green – saliva along with gastric juice.

* Must be sheared at least once a year.

* The fur can reach a length of 50 cm.

* The obtained wool is the finest in the world. It can have 52 tones.

* Wool has earned the recommendations the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

* This wool is more resistant than mohair and warmer than goose down.

* They talk to each other with soft sounds that become louder in anger.