Alpaca

Vicugna pacos

An alpaca is a domesticated species of South American camelid. It resembles a small llama in appearance.

Alpacas are kept in herds that graze on the level heights of the Andes of southern Peru, northern Bolivia, Ecuador, and northern Chile at an altitude of 11,500 ft to 16,000 ft above sea level, throughout the year.

Alpacas are considerably smaller than llamas, and unlike llamas, they were not bred to be beasts of burden, but were bred specifically for their fiber. Alpaca fiber is used for making knitted and woven items, similar to wool. These items include blankets, sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves, a wide variety of textiles and ponchos in South America, and sweaters, socks, coats and bedding in other parts of the world.

An adult alpaca generally is between 81 and 99 cm in height at the withers. They usually weigh between 106 and 185 lbs.