Our newest – cutest – little alpaca

One of our lovely alpacas, Venus, gave birth to a beautiful cria on Friday 14th June 2019.  They can both be seen in the field near the donkeys, happily mum and her little daughter, Turner, are both doing well – isn’t she cute!  A cria is the name for a baby alpaca or llama, rather than a calf, kid, cub, kitten or one of the numerous other names baby animals are known by.

Can you tell the difference between an alpaca and a llama?

The most obvious difference between the two animals is their size.  Llamas are quite a lot larger, weighing approximately 113 kg and standing about 120 cm at the shoulder.  Alpacas on the other hand stand at approximately 90 cm at the shoulder and weigh between 55 and 65 kg.

Their faces are quite dissimilar; llamas have longer faces with banana sized ears, while alpacas have shorter faces and ears.  Another difference is their hair: alpaca hair is shaggy and used for fleece production whereas llama hair is not deemed such good quality and has a coarser feel.

Llamas and alpacas are both gentle, alpacas are the more shy of the two breeds and prefer to stay within their herd.  Llamas, being stronger, are sometimes used by humans for carrying goods and can be stubborn and reactive– understandably – when not treated respectfully.  I am sure you will agree that we should treat all animals with respect.

So next time you are here, have a careful look at the alpacas and llamas and you should be able to spot the differences between the two – and don’t forget to look out for the little one!