Meet the Alpacas
Apollo is the tallest of the sanctuary's three alpacas. Shy but cute, you can usually find him lounging under (and eating from) one of the sanctuary's pepper trees.
Wuzbear is the sanctuary's shortest alpaca. His name is Wuzbear, well, because his name wuz Bear. The alpacas' main diet is hay, but they can be tempted to break their diet with some delicious veggies or pepper tree leaves!
Sebastian is the alpaca with the darkest fur. Though he typically stays close to his brothers, you can sometimes bribe him into saying hello with a few alpaca treats. When it's hot, the alpacas enjoy hose baths that cool them down while giving them that dreamy wet hair look.
Although often confused with a llama, an alpaca is actually a breed of animal all to itself.
One of the most notable differences is their size; alpacas tend to be noticeably smaller than llamas, weighing an average of 150 lbs (whereas a llama can weigh up to 400 lbs). You may also notice a difference in the shape of their ears, with an alpacas ears being shorter and spear-shaped, as opposed to a llama's banana-shaped ears.
How Alpacas are Used in Industry
Alpacas are most commonly raised for their hair/fur, utilizing the fibers/fleece for knitted and woven items. Some countries also raise them for meat. At Saving Grace, however, we believe in their intrinsic value; their graceful, grazing, gentleness, along with their fluffy heads are just a few of their amazing traits.
Alpacas like to keep a clean house! They are very clean and sanitary, designating a specific area of the land as their restroom, rather than wherever they happened to be standing when they gotta go. For us, this makes it much easier to clean up their enclosure. And for them... well, they are always ready for visitors with their tidy, designated rooms.
1) Are alpacas dangerous? Nope, alpacas tend to be very friendly, docile, and actually quite graceful. They are not known for biting (they do not have sharp teeth), and they don't have any horns to ram you with. In fact, they have a tendency to simply move gracefully around their field, minding their own business.
2) How many alpacas do you have at Saving Grace? We currently provide home and refuge to three alpacas, named Apollo, Sebastian, and Wuzbear.
3) What are male, female, and baby alpacas called? A female is called a "hembra" and a male is called a "stud" or "gelding", depending on whether or not he has been neutered. Baby alpacas are called "cria" and they are especially adorable with their fluffy heads and long necks.
4) How long does an alpaca live? An alpacas natural life span, without human intervention, is usually around 20 years.
5) Are alpacas smart? We say yes! Alpacas are quite alert and quickly learn and communicate with each other through their posture, tail movements, and ear wiggles. They also communicate via little sounds, most often sounding a bit like a soft humming. This milk music is so fitting for their graceful presence, perfectly fitting of the gentle animals that they are.
6) Do alpacas spit? Very rarely will an alpaca spit. This only happens if they feel especially threatened or scared.
7) What do alpacas eat? Alpacas are herbivores, which means they consume a diet that is only made of plants. They mostly consume grass/hay, but in general, their natural diets may also include leaves, wood, bark, and stems. They have a three-chambered stomach to easily digest their diet, and they tend to eat about 2 lbs. per day (just 1.5% of their body weight).