Alpacas fill Portland Expo Center for CABA Classic Alpaca Show

The Oregonian
By: Mark Graves
Photo: By Mark Graves

Breeders from around the Pacific Northwest showed off hundreds of alpacas over the weekend at the Portland Expo Center. Sunday was the final day of the event, which featured vendors selling alpaca products, fleece competitions, judging, awards, and shearing.

Alpacas, which are related to camels and llamas, but smaller, were originally domesticated in the high altitudes of the Andes in South America. The animals are prized for their coats, which sell for around $3 to $4 an ounce.

Breeders say the fleece is warmer and softer than wool, dries faster after being wet and is hypoallergenic. Depending on the quality of the coat, a single alpaca can sell for upwards of $10,000, or as low as a $100 in the Pacific Northwest.

Breeders say it is not uncommon for people to buy them as pets. They resemble a Jim Henson Muppet, are quiet, docile and make great lawn mowers.

Read the original and view the photo gallery here.