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Alpaca

Vicugna pacos
Mammal

IUCN Status
As a domesticated species there are no conservation or threats associated with Alpacas similarly with their close wild relative the vicuna.



Diet

Grasses & some leaves and in captivity hay and supplementary feeds (to provide vitamins & minerals that may be absent).

Habitat

Andean mountain slopes at 3 – 5000 metres above sea level

Behaviour

Alpacas roam the mountainsides in small family groups consisting of an adult alpha male, females and their young. They are very protective and will chase off smaller predators, while males will engage in savage fights with each other to protect their herd!

Breeding

A single youngster after a year gestation and usually weaned within nine months. Females can breed again within 2 weeks of giving birth as it is the presence of the male causing induced ovulation that stimulates this.

Fun Facts

Alpacas are Camelids with a three chambered stomach for extracting as many nutrients as possible from their grass diet. They all use a communal dung pile where they do not graze! Here at Exmoor zoo we refer to this as their “ring of repugnance” but it is purported as a result of this it is easy to house train them!!

At The Zoo

We have a small herd of alpaca from Twycross Zoo stock which represents the original larger race. Our alpaca are used to being haltered and we use them for a talk and contact session at 11.30 hours daily.