Pannonia Alpacas Susan and Zoltan Szabo
Pannonia Alpacas & Kennel
Grants Pass, Oregon 97527
Tel: (541)946-7084

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What is an Alpaca?

What is an alpaca?
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Alpacas are members of the camelid family. There are six different kinds of camels, with different purposes. Some camels carry things or guard flocks or sheep, while others produce soft and luxurious fleeces.

Today, the alpaca is found indigenously only in South America, with highest population concentrations in the Andean regions of Peru, Chile and Bolivia.

Fleeces of the vicuna and alpaca first captured the attention of Incan royalty hundreds of years ago. Clothing for the royal family and highest government officials was made exclusively from vicuna and alpaca.

There are two types of alpacas: the huacaya, (pronounced "wah-KI'-ah"), which has fleece with a waviness (crimp) that gives it a fluffy, teddy bear like appearance, and the other type, the suri, which' fleece has no crimp, so the individual fibers wrap around each other to form lustrous pencil locks that hang down from the body.

Alpacas are raised for their very soft fleeces, which are then transformed into luxurious finished goods for "value-added" revenue generation. Sheared once a year, each animal produces about five to twelve pounds of raw fleece.

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[Source: Alpaca Owners & Breeders Association]

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