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Copyright © Alpacas of Newfoundland 2006
Alpacas were a cherished treasure of the ancient Inca civilization and played a central role in the Inca culture that was located on the high Andean Plateau in the mountains of South America.  Alpacas were first imported into the United States in 1984. Alpacas are now being successfully raised and enjoyed throughout North America and abroad.
There are two types of alpacas - the Huacaya and the Suri.  The life span of the alpaca is about 20 years and gestation is 11.5 months.  Alpacas eat grasses and chew their cud.  They are about 36" tall and weigh about 150 pounds.  They are gentle and easy to handle.  Alpacas are safe; they don't bite or butt.  Even if they did, without incisors, horns, hooves or claws, little harm can be done.  Clean up is easy since alpacas deposit their droppings in only a few places in the paddock.  They require minimal fencing and can be pastured at 5 to 10 per acre.
Alpacas produce one of the world's finest and most luxurious natural fibers. It is clipped from the animal without injury.  Soft as cashmere and warmer, lighter and stronger than wool, it comes in 22 basic colors with many variations and blends.  This is more color than any other fibre producing animal.

This cashmere-like fleece, once reserved for Inca royalty, is now enjoyed by spinners and weavers around the world.

(Acknowledgment: from the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association website at http:/