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Pet an Odessa alpaca at National Alpaca Farm Days


Published:   |   Updated: September 19, 2013 at 08:44 AM

The Golden Spirit Alpaca Ranch in Odessa wants you to stop by and meet the herd.

The farm is opening its gates for National Alpaca Farm Days, Sept. 28 and 29, when breeders across the U.S. and Canada invite the public to their farms for an up-close look at the unique animals renowned for their soft fur and individual personalities.

Visitors will learn about the luxury fiber alpacas produce and why the alpaca business is environmentally beneficial, a news release from the ranch said.

The 75-acre ranch, located at 10937 Tarpon Springs Road in Odessa, is normally closed to the public. It's home to more than 160 alpacas.

Related to the llama, alpacas are native to the Andean mountains of South America, particularly Peru, Bolivia and Chile. The animals were first commercially imported to the United States in 1984. Because of its soft texture, alpaca fiber is sometimes compared to cashmere and can be used as a hypoallergenic substitute for wool, the ranch said.

The open house takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5.

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