Friday, April 16, 2010

A Big Spat, Alpaca Style

Well, I can scratch "Watch two alpacas get into a spitting fight" off of my "things I have to do before I die" list. I have been trying to make a list to make my friend Erin happy. Her list was long and exciting and mine was short and uninspired (I couldn't come up with anything). Anyway , Mic grew annoyed with Pablo this evening shortly after receiving his allotment of pellets. He began grunting and spitting little bits of food at Pablo. I'm sure looking back at the situation now, Pablo wishes he had kept his cool, but in the heat of the moment he decided he had enough and spat back.

Mic lost control at Pablo's blatant display of insubordination. Within moments, necks were intertwined and spit was flying. I remember yelling, "Move back!" to Oliver as I saw Mic going for the "Killer Spit." Alpacas lack sharp teeth, claws and muscular arms, so they must defend themselves by inflicting emotional pain on their enemies. They do so by being as disgusting as possible. When one hears the word "spit", one generally thinks of saliva. An angry alpaca may start off with saliva, but when the fight escalates, stomach contents are the weapon of choice.

It was a magical thing to witness; two large mammals wrestling with long, graceful necks, showering each other with florescent sprays of bile. Finally, Pablo gave up and the fight was over. Both animals were grossed out; they spent the next hour open mouth breathing, their lips dripping yellow fluid. Mic even tried to rub his bile off on the walls of the shelter.

It is a shame I didn't have my camera on hand to capture the fight. I was, however, able to capture some post fight pictures. You can see the look of horror on their faces as they tried not to breathe in the stench. I only hope they will learn to work things out in a civilized manner in the future.

Here is a picture of a bee in a calla lily I took recently. I just wanted to end things on a not so gross note.


  1. Oh, I almost vomited myself reading this - can you not hose them off, Jess? How will they ever get clean? Can you send them off into a lake or something? How nasty!

    That bee photo is just beautiful. Very abstract looking with that big, bright yellow stamen in the center.

    Whew!!! I'll be thinking of that spitting fight all day long now. I knew they spat, like Camels do, but I didn't realize to what extend.

  2. Hmm... I'm not sure that it counts if you add something to your list after it has already happened. Ah, my dear, dear contented friend;). Seriously though- who knew alpacas did that?? Pretty nasty! I'm pretty sure they didn't mention that facet of alpaca behavior when Andrea and I went to that "alpaca open house" in CT. Do they clean themselves afterwards or did you have to wash the vomit off yourself? Depending on your answer, I may or may not need to take "get an alpaca" off my own list...:)

  3. Do you have a spinning wheel? If not, you may want to consider getting one. There's nothing more wonderful than homespun alpaca yarn. My friend has an alpaca farm and I get my roving from her.