Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Alpacas are coming to Durham museum

Posted October 17, 2012 8:10 p.m. EDT

The Museum of Life and Science is welcoming some new members to its fold. They are Emily and Ray, baby alpacas, and their moms Equinox and Retro.

The alpacas will make their home in the museum's farmyard starting this Saturday. The museum will welcome them with a week-long celebration that runs from Saturday to Oct. 27.

Visitors to the museum will learn how to clean, card and spin wool and more. The alpacas come from Our Ancestral Farm in Durham.

Some fun alpaca facts:

  • Alpacas are animals that are farmed for their fleece.
  • Alpaca are an unusual animal to highlight in regards to agriculture, but they are growing in popularity in the U.S. because of the high quality of their fleece, ease of husbandry and 'gentler' impact on the environment
  • Alpaca (Vicugna pacos) is a domesticated species of South American camelid. It resembles a small llama in appearance
  • Baby alpaca are called "cria"
  • Not all alpacas spit, but all are capable of spitting
  • Hair color of alpaca can range from white to shades of brown and black

Daily programs will let visitors learn more about alpacas with a variety of hands-on activities next week. Here's what's scheduled next week:

Hands-On Programs:
Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday noon to 3 p.m.; Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Meet the Keeper is scheduled daily at 1:30 p.m.

Woven: A Museum and Life and Science Fiber Arts Celebration
10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 27

The museum will showcase local fiber artists who will display their work and explain the many processes they use to create art and wearables using wool. Artisans will also have pieces for sale.