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Behavioral Pattern Of The Alpacas

by Robert Baird


In the central European country of Peru, a plethora of flora and fauna inhabit themselves of which one of the foremost is the alpaca. They are quite similar in appearance to the llama or the South American camelid and initially they were domesticated by the Moche people who inhabited a part of the Peruvian territory. In Peru, the alpacas are usually found to graze together in herds about 3500 to 5000 meters above the sea level. In usual cases, an alpaca can live for about 20 years though it has been noticed that incase of better nutritional conditioned, the alpaca may live for several more years.

The alpaca or the Vicugna pacos are domestic animals and they are never observed grazing alone. They always move around in groups comprising of the males, females and the young ones who are known as cria. The main reason due to which they always move in hers is that these animals are easy prey to other superior animals and therefore staying in groups strengthens them considerably and in case of an attack, they are also able to notify the others in the herd. These alpacas are extremely intelligent and great observers and do not enjoy unwarranted attention from any source, be it other animals, humans or even unfamiliar alpacas. Alpacas however usually acknowledge their owners and allow them to touch the alpacas around the neck. But in most cases, they do not like being touched or patted and if done so against their wishes they may retaliate by spitting or kicking with the soft hoofs on their legs.

Spitting is a peculiar tendency found amidst the alpacas and it is even more interesting to note that different alpacas react to different situations by spitting and more often the act of spitting may act as a way of defending themselves as well. The spit usually comprises of certain amount of saliva, certain grass and other acidic contents form the stomach and air. Spitting is common at humans who may attempt to take away their food. Some alpacas are induced to spitting the moment they are looked at. However, certain alpacas may never spit at all. Spitting is actually caused due to a condition called ‘sour mouth' where the acidic contents of the stomach creates a foul taste in the mouth and spitting enables them to get rid of it. Therefore, it is quite evident that it is very difficult to demarcate broad-based behavioral patterns for the alpacas as most of them have separate individual traits different form the other.

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