Newly Acquired Alpacas Join the Long Island Game Farm’s Family Just in Time for the Grand Opening

Long Island Game Farm alpaca

Pictured are a herd of alpacas that was acquired by the Long Island Game Farm and exhibited on the first day of the Game Farm’s 46th season on April 8.

Just in time for the grand opening of its 46th season on April 8, the Long Island Game Farm showed visitors its newly acquired alpacas as part of its expanding animal exhibit. The Game Farm received the animals from the Ceruti family of Shoreham, who have been longtime friends of the Game Farm. The Cerutis donated their backyard pet alpaca herd, consisting of Rosie and her yearling Robbie; Sophie and her yearling Rusty; Gracie and her yearling Zoe; and one female named Melanie.

Alpacas are a domesticated species of the South American camelid, resembling a small Llama in appearance, but considerably smaller. They have a silky fleece that covers their bodies and are shorn each year, producing between five and eight pounds of fleece annually. Some of their colors are black, white, brown and gray. Their wool is water-repellent and is used for making coats, sweaters and blankets.

They are able to live in semi-arid habitats and are native to South American countries, including Peru, northern Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile. They also have cloven hooves that help them negotiate steep mountainous terrain.

Alpacas are herbivores, their diets consisting mainly of hay, grass and ferns. They are also known as ruminants (or cud-chewing animals). They have a height of 40 inches and weigh from 100 to 175 pounds. An alpaca can live up to 20 years.

They are now living happily at the Game Farm and are looking forward to seeing guests and eating out of their hands. In the spring, they will have their coats shorn to make them more comfortable in the summer months.

Melinda Novak, Co-Owner, Long Island Game Farm will be using the alpaca fleece to make nuno-felted scarves, which will be for sale at the Game Farm and other local venues. Profits will be donated to The Butterfly Effect Project of Riverhead and Bellport, an organization close to Ms. Novak and Game Farm staff member Scarlett Green, who volunteer their time with the organization.

The Butterfly Effect Project is a non-profit organization that empowers underprivileged girls ages nine to 13 by giving them the tools to assist them in achieving academic and emotional stability and a self-confident future, which will bring forth a generation of women who are strong, independent and knowledgeable. The group’s mission is to ensure that every girl who is enrolled in the program has a fair chance to broaden their horizons while eliminating the normal obstacles, such as social mobility, cultural differences and finances.

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