Alpacas have coexisted with humans for thousands of years. Native to South America, the Incan civilization prized these small camelid for their fiber. Invading Spanish conquistador slaughtered more than 90 percent of all alpacas. Fortunately, the natives saved a small number of these wonderful animals by secreting them off to the barren and remote Altiplano. Over the last four centuries, the population has steadily increased. The first alpacas arrived in the United States in the 1980's, but 99 percent of the world's three million alpacas live in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile.
The unique disposition of alpacas makes them prospective options in animal-assisted therapy. Promising results have been documented for children suffering with autism, attention deficit disorders and anxiety disorders. Their ability to communicate nonverbally encourages the exploration of unique ways to express one's self and develop new ways of social interaction. Their quiet nature makes them a wonderful match with children suffering from autism spectrum disorders and sensory oversensitivity.
We encourage professionals to meet these amazing animals and to explore the many possible benefits from interacting with them.
About Our Alpacas
From the moment they arrived at our farm, we have been fascinated by our juvenile alpacas, donated to The White Barn Project by Renaissance Ridge Alpacas and aptly tagged Mr. Grey, Mr. White, Mr. Brown and Mr. Black. Whether roaming the farm or in their turnout, these gentle, inquisitive animals greet visitors with a sniff or kiss. These exotic creatures are easily groomed, grazed and petted. They do not bite, and despite the rumors, they rarely spit. Their coats are remarkably soft. They are sheared once a year and we will use the beautiful fiber for educational and craft projects.