What better way to spend the weekend than hanging out with alpacas? That was the question that I had pondered for several months, and finally after a few google searches and clicks, I discovered Alpakafarm Nieplitzhof, an alpaca farm south of Berlin, where you can meet these amazing creatures in person!
An alpaca baby – cria
The alpaca is probably the cutest animal I’ve ever seen. It is a descendant of the vicuña and belongs to the camelid family. It has a long neck, smily lips, and large, expressive eyes. I see alpacas as a somewhat creative combination of camels and sheep, without any humps and with much cleaner and softer fleece. They are very friendly and social beings that can live up to 20 years. The alpaca gestation period is about a year long and almost always results in a single baby alpaca, called a cria.
A visibly smiling alpaca!
As pure herbivores they enjoy nibbling on juicy green grass and leaves. Unlike sheep or cows, they draw a clear distinction between their toilet and grazing areas. The herd collectively designates one patch of pasture for the bathroom and keeps the rest free from manure.
Alpacas are known to be very gentle and calm and love being around their buddies, living a peaceful life within the community. However, if distressed, threatened, abused or in need of registering a complaint with one another they will spit without holding back. They are typically very quiet but they sometimes make an adorable humming sound: “hmmm”.
Making friends with a cria
After our visit to the farm I had no more doubt: I was in love with alpacas. Being around these serene creatures for a couple hours left me deeply relaxed and rejuvenated. No wonder alpacas made their way into becoming therapy animals, helping people recover from severe trauma, stress and other emotional-health issues.