Sandra (MadSnapper), Beverly (Lacoochee Kid), Judy (Through Squirrel Eyes), and Sarah Whitcomb all knew the answer to yesterday's mystery animal! It is an alpaca. What's the difference between an alpaca and a llama? Not much, except a llama is twice the size of an alpaca. How on earth did my winners know which one it is? There are several alpaca farms near us, and we passed some this weekend so close that we could touch them! Alpacas are native to the Andes Mountains of South America, and are creatures of antiquity that have been around at least 6,000 years. They were first imported here in 1984, and every single one born here must be blood-typed and registered. Their fleece is a premium fiber that is lightweight, warm, durable and soft as cashmere. It is in very high demand in the fashion industry. You can tell by looking at the pictures how thick and rich it is. The ancient Incas measured their wealth by how many alpacas they owned, and a thriving Peruvian economy continued for thousands of years with these animals creating prosperity, so they were thought to be magical. A pregnant female sells for over $15,000. These animals are truly georgous. They look like they have makeup on. And large, childlike, yet magical eyes. They are almost hypnotic to look at. They are friendly, gentle and curious. A member of the camel family, but without any of the camel's nasty habits.
"Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you...which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind." Job 12:7