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Alpacas are originally from South America.  They live in the high altitude regions in Southern Peru, Bolivia and Chile.  The temperature is very hot during the day and below freezing most nights of the year.

Alpacas belong to the same family as llamas and camels.  They were first brought into the United State in 1984.

Alpacas are shorn once every year like a sheep.  They have from 5 to 8 pounds of fiber each year that can be spun into yarn and made into sweaters, hats, mittens and other items.  The fiber is very soft and warm and can be worn next to your skin and will not itch.  

Alpaca fiber comes in natural colors from pure white to fawn, to browns and blacks and grays.  Alpaca fiber can also be dyed.  

Alpacas eat hay, grass and grain and drink water just like sheep, goats, horses and cows.  A full grown alpaca weights about 125 to 150 pounds, which is the size of a big dog.  

Alpacas are very friendly because they do not bite or butt.  Alpacas talk to each other by humming.  They will spit at other alpacas, but it is rare for them to spit at people.

A baby alpaca is called a cria.  A mother will have one cria each year and they will live about 20 years.