Signs of Spring: Alpaca Shearing

It’s the time of year when our Keepers start preparing our animals for the heat ahead. Benjamin, Snowball, Winston and Todd got their annual haircuts yesterday by the folks at Shear Bliss. They explained that alpaca fleece is a very warm fiber that must be shorn when the weather warms to protect the animals from overheating.

Each alpaca had a turn in the salon (AKA, the stall) where they were met by scissors, shears and nail trimmers. They were lying down on their sides and secured to prevent them from jumping into the very sharp shears.

First, the hair on top of their heads was snipped.

Hair Trimming

Then came the clippers. Soft fleece soon blanketed the area around the alpacas. The wool was saved and will be used around the zoo for enrichment.

Alpaca Wool Post-Shearing

Alpaca Wool Post-Shearing

Finally, their nails were trimmed.

Nail Trimming

Nail Trimming

Now, our four alpacas are sporting stylish ‘dos and feeling much better in the heat of the day!

Alpacas Before

Alpacas Before

Alpacas After

Alpacas After

And we have to say, we LOVED the Shear Bliss T-shirt!

Shear Bliss Shirt

Shear Bliss Shirt

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