(Chubasco & El Nino)

Hello, my name is El Nino and my friend here is Chubasco. We are the alpacas of Windy Hill Ranch. I am a bit smaller than Chubasco and have less brown coloring than he does. We were both named after storms, but my name also means the little boy in Spanish. Chubasco and I are half brothers. Did you know we are related to the camel? Yes we are. I guess you could say we are cousins. We come from a different part of the world than the camel though. We are naturally found in South America. Even though we are too small for people to ride, we help them by carrying things on our backs. There is another way we help people, we help to keep them warm. You see our fur, called fiber, can be sheared. People use our fiber to make sweaters, afghans and even teddy bears! Here at Windy Hill Ranch, our fiber gets sheared once a year so we won't get too warm during the summer. We feel so much better afterwards!

There are two kinds of alpacas. One is called the Suri. The Suri's fiber is straight, thick and hangs in a "dreadlock" fashion. The other kind of alpaca is called the Huacaya. The Huacaya's fiber is dense, crimpy and wool-like. Can you guess what kind Chubasco and I are? That's right! We are Huacayas. Even though there are only two kinds of alpacas, together we come in 22 different colors.

Many people sometimes find us a bit funny looking. We have really big eyes, hidden underneath a cap of hair. Chubasco and I curiously watch all the goings on at the Ranch. We are fascinated by small animals and we enjoy checking out the small dogs when they come to visit, but we chase them away when they try to bother our friends, the sheep. Chubasco and I take our job of protecting the sheep very seriously.

Chubasco and I have many neat characteristics. We have a split upper lip and we are very gentle on the land when we graze. We are also ruminants and we chew our cud. Chubasco and I have soft padded feet like the camel, but we have two toes with long nails on each foot. Unlike the camel, we naturally come from the mountains. We need our long nails for climbing through the rocks. We communicate with each other using humming noises. So don't be scared when you hear us humming. We are always happy to see you!




Alpacas are closely related to...

A) Sheep

B) Cows

C) Camels

[see bottom of page to see if you were right].

FUN Animal Fact: Did you know ...

Alpacas were a cherished treasure of the ancient Inca civilization and played a central role in the Incan culture that was located on the high Andean plateau and mountains of South America!
















Answer: If you said "C", you are correct!

The alpaca is closely related to the camel and is in the same family called "camelids".

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