An investment you can hug:

By Josie

January 6th, 2023

The Alpaca

The Alpaca

During the alpaca boom,  which lasted from the 1980’s until the early 2000’s, the highest price recorded for an alpaca was S675,000.

Consequently they were branded the investment you can hug.

Although the boom is over, they remain great huggers and provide employment worldwide.

Let's get to know them!

Scientific name: Lama Pacos Family: Camelidae Diet: Herbivore (grazer) Habitat: Mountainous areas and farmlands  Distribution: South America  Population: 4 million Level of Endangerment: Domesticated



Typically they reach a weight of 121 – 143 pounds, and a height of roughly 35 inches.

They belong to the family of Camelidae, the same family as camels.

Two Types 

There are two different types of Alpacas: Huacaya and Suri Alpacas

Suri Alpacas have cascading corkscrews of fur, whereas the Huacaya is fluffy.

Huacaya Alpaca


Alpaca vs. Llama

Alpacas keep their tails tucked, whereas the Llama’s tail stands erect.

Llamas are closely related but are distinctively larger than the Alpacas and have pointier ears




Their native habitats include both dry and wet areas, and tend to reside in high altitudes.

Thanks to their fur, which is suitable for both hot and cold climates


They're often exported to countries such as Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Alpacas originated in Peru and today 99% of the world’s Alpaca population reside in South America.


As to not spoil the grass with their sharp nails, they have padded feet.

They are grazers and an “Alpacian” diet predominantly consists of pasture grass and hay.


After 11,5 months of gestation, a single baby is born, called a cria.

Female alpacas are induced ovulators, meaning they ovulate as a reaction to mating and the presence of semen.

Fun Facts

#1 They spit at people or fellow Alpacas to assert dominance.

#2 When an Alpaca feels that another Alpaca is invading their space they warn them by means of snorting.

#3 With the promise of a reward, preferably food, Alpacas are actually very easy to train.

#4 They make excellent therapy animals which can reduce stress, depression and fatigue in patients.

Now you're basically an Alpaca-connoisseur!


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