Sweden's Parken Zoo has a new arrival. First-time mom Alpaca Sabrina delivered the baby with ease on Friday the 13th at 11:00 a.m. The baby is healthy and both are doing well. Babies tend to weigh between 10 and 17 pounds and will grow to a weight of anywhere between 100-190 pounds as adults.
Alpacas are a member of the camel (camelid) family, domesticated, and shorn for their valuable fleeces. Alpacas do not have a heat (estrus) cycle and so can be bred any time of the year. The average gestation period of 335 days produces a single baby which is usually delivered from a standing position during daylight hours.
There are about 3.5 million Alpacas in the Andean highlands, mostly in Peru. The North American herd has increased, after they were first imported in 1984, from a few Alpacas in zoos and private collections to about 20,000! Alpacas are in demand for their luxurious shorn fur and as pet, show, and investment animals in Canada, England, Poland, France, Israel, and Australia, New Zealand, as well as the USA.