by Holly from Ocean Springs
My hero is the Alpaca. The Alpaca resembles the Llama. Alpacas are smaller than the Lama, and very different then the Llama. Alpacas were not bred to be beasts of burden but were bred mainly for their fiber. Alpaca fiber is useful for making knitted and woven items, kind of like wool. Alpaca’s are usually kept in herds that gaze on the level heights of the Andes of southern Peru, northern Bolivia, Ecuador, and northern Chile at an heights of 3,500 m to 5,000 m.
The import of alpacas was stopped in 1999 due to hoof and mouth disease. The alpaca’s carried rabies as well as foot and mouth disease. As well as cows the alpaca chews cud. Grown alpacas usually weigh between 125 and up to 200 pounds. Shearing is done in the spring to keep the alpaca cool during the summer. Their fur goes 3 to 6 inches per year. Alpacas come in all sorts of colors. The fur is prized for its softness and warmness and it weights less than wool.
People who have allergies to wool can usually wear garments made of alpaca, which is as soft or even softer then a cashmere! Which is pretty ahhmazing! So that’s why the alpaca is my hero!(: