Alpaca

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Range: Andes Mountains of Peru, Bolivia, and Chile at elevations of 9,840-15,750 feet. The largest populations are in Peru.

Habitat: Humid regions of the Andean high plateaus or Altiplano where tender grass can grow.

Description: Alpacas are about 3 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh around 154.3 pounds. Long thick wool covers all of their bodies except for the face. Wild individuals are a uniform color of dark chocolate or almost black, but domesticated animals may be white or spotted.

Dietary Classification:
Diet in Zoo: Hay
Diet in Wild: Tender grasses and woody shrubs

Reproduction: Breeding takes place throughout the year, but only once per year. Gestation period is 342 - 345 days and usually results in one offspring.

Longevity: 15 - 24 years

Behavior/Adaptations: Will spit in an aggressor's face when threatened. Now live mainly in domesticated herds. Use various body poses to communicate to other alpacas.

Relatives: Llamas, Guanacos, Vicunas, and Camels

Predators: Pumas (cougars), Andean condors, Andean mountain cats, wolves, coyotes and feral dogs.

Status: Because alpacas have become domesticated, they have no special conservation status.