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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
  • Public invited to Geneseo alpaca farm

  • With their large eyes, fluffy fleece and long necks, alpacas often attract curious stares — and the animals, native to South?America, are equally inquisitive about their surroundings. “Alpacas are very curious and very social,” said Dr. Jeanette Thomas who owns Peppertree Alpacas in Geneseo with her husband, Rael Slavensky.


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  • With their large eyes, fluffy fleece and long necks, alpacas often attract curious stares — and the animals, native to South?America, are equally inquisitive about their surroundings.
    “Alpacas are very curious and very social,” said Dr. Jeanette Thomas who owns
    Peppertree Alpacas in Geneseo with her husband, Rael Slavensky.
    “People comment about how docile and gentle alpacas are,” said Thomas.
    Visitors can meet the alpacas from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 24 and 25 during National Alpaca Open Farm?Days.
    Peppertree Alpacas is located at 2 Peppertree Farms, just off Wolf Road.
    National Alpaca Open?Farm Days, hosted each year during the third weekend of September, is a chance for area residents to “meet and greet” with the alpacas, said Thomas.
    “We’re trying to help the alpaca industry in the United States and give exposure to these wonderful animals,” she said.
    There are 16 alpacas at Peppertree Alpacas, including a baby — known as a “cria” — who was born last week.
    “They’re incredibly cute when they’re little. They run and jump around. They’re just so playful,” said Thomas.
    Peppertree Alpacas has participated in open farm days for the past five years.
    “Each year, we’ve had more and more people come out,” she explained.
    “We’ll have samples of alpaca fiber and different alpaca products for sale, and visitors can feed and pet the alpacas and see the new baby,” said Thomas.
    “Alpacas really are just unusual animals. They’re one of the oldest domesticated animal in the world,” she said.
    Alpacas, cousins to the llama, are native to the Andean Mountain range of South America, particularly Peru, Bolivia and Chile.
    “They’re adapted for cold weather because they’re use to living in the mountains,” she said.
    As a result, alpaca fiber “has a really high heat retention factor,” said Thomas. “People use it a lot for winter gear.”
    Alpacas also are known for being “really good with children” noted?Thomas.
    “They have no upper front teeth, and they have a pad on the bottom of their foot, so it’s like a dog stepping on you.”
    For more information about alpacas, visit www.alpacanation.com

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