Domestic Alpaca


In the mountains and valleys of South America are herds of grazers. We are home to females ‘Chai’, ‘Pekoe’, and ‘Latte’.

Soft fleece, soft attitudes

Alpacas are prized for their strong yet soft fleece, which led to their domestication in South America over 6,000 years ago. While they spend most of their days grazing, they eat much less than other animals of their size – around two pounds per day. This animal is known for its easygoing nature and as a social creature, it thrives in herds and can communicate with herd members by humming.


  • IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (at relatively low risk of extinction)
  • Type: Mammal
  • Habitat: Mountainous regions in South America
  • Diet: Herbivore – grass and hay
  • Size: 32 to 39 inches tall
  • Weight: 100 to 175 pounds
Alpaca Domestic Alpaca Alpaca

Care & Conservation

How we care for them

At the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo, we are bringing together our passion for plants and animals with our dedication to taking and inspiring action to sustain wildlife and wild places.
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facts about our animals

Fun Facts about Alpacas

Alpacas have coats that come in 22 different colours.

Although they are herbivores, male alpacas have fangs which can be an inch long.

An alpaca has soft, padded feet which hide their sharp nails.

Alpacas may spit at each other when in conflict.

As ruminants, alpacas have a three-chambered stomach.

Alpacas do not have upper front teeth, giving them the appearance of an underbite.



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