Alpaca show - it's unlike any other - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Kerry Klatt

Alpaca show - it's unlike any other

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OWATONNA, MN (FOX 47) -- Most of us have heard of the Westminster Dog Show in New York City. But what about the Alpaca Show in Owatonna?

For the second year in a row the city hosted the first of its kind event, and even taught us a thing or two about the animal - many mistake for something its not.

It's not your typical animal show says organizer Nancy Walz, "We have approximately 550 animals under one roof at the Four Seasons Centre in Owatonna.

Their sound alone is an attention grabber, while they're look is unlike anything you might have seen.

"You know, people want to think that they are lamas, but they're not lamas they're cousins to the lamas as the lama is a cousin to the camel so they're in the camel family," says Walz.

Producing the strongest fleece in the world alpaca fur is in high demand.

"It feels like cashmere, and it's much warmer than wool, and it doesn't have the oil so people who have allergies or skin issues they have no problem wearing alpaca, it's a great product," says Walz.

These alpacas are on display for more than their looks. They're vying for a place in Saturday's 2nd annual Minnesota Alpaca Show, the first competition of its kind in the state.

Cute and cuddly only gets them so far...alpacas are judged based on their fiber.

Competitions are not all work, but mostly play says breeder Kit Almich, "We enjoy shows! They're fun, it's fun to meet people, and to see other people's animals."

Alpacas aren't the easiest animal to take care of owners say it takes time and patience to get a quality product.

"You have to fall in love with their fiber, and that's the ultimate thing--their fiber because it makes beautiful, beautiful product," says Almich.

Sunday organizers are holding a silent auction to benefit the University of Minnesota's Large Animal Hospital.

Last year they raised more than $9,000, this year they hope to raise more than $10,000.


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