The Alpaca of Timbavati Wildlife Park
Greetings friends and welcome to this week’s blog post. These adorable creatures are called alpacas. If you’ve ever accidentally called them Llamas don’t worry; they forgive you. Even though they look similar, alpacas are nearly half the size of llamas and their fleece is far superior.
Llamas are mainly raised to be load carrying animals. The Inca domesticated alpacas nearly 6,000 years ago specifically for their hypoallergenic and moisture-wicking fiber. Their fur is known to be warmer than wool, softer than silk, and extremely strong. This is why they reserved the fiber strictly for nobility. You don’t need to be a royal to wear alpaca these days, though!
Did you know there are no wild alpacas? That’s because alpacas are domesticated versions of vicunas from South America. Llamas are also domesticated versions of a different animal, guanacos, and both of these domesticated and wild animals belong to the camelidae family – including camels!
Two Breeds of Alpaca
There are two breeds of alpaca with very distinct differences. Suri have long, twisted hanging locks of fleece all over their body. The Huacaya, the most commonly seen breed, has fluffy or kinky medium length fleece. But both breeds live an average of 20 years. They also grow to about 150 lbs, and only eat about 2lbs of grass a day. They are very social herd animals and therefore do not like to be kept alone, so be sure to come keep them company before the summer is over!
Don’t forget we have FREE pig races and Keeper Talks that are included with your purchase of a General Admission. We also have a Giraffe and Camel Feeding encounter. Put those together with a bunch of cool animals and petting areas and you have the perfect summer adventure. Pop on over to our tickets page and book your escape today!
Cheers and we will talk with you next week!