DENVER -- They really do look like an animal a 9-year-old girl would invent, sound and all.
Say hello to vicugna pacos, aka, the alpaca.
"An alpaca is a member of the camel family. They are a little smaller than a llama," said Bud Synhorst, executive director of the Alpaca Owner's Association.
Alpaca admirers are getting their fill of the sights, sounds and smells of the cute and strange creature from South America.
"They're used for all kinds of garments, blankets, and they're also used for meat," Synhorst said.
In Colorado, the alpaca has found a very comfy and safe home on the range. There are more than 250 registered alpaca farms in Colorado. Folks use the alpaca for everything from companionship to clothes.
Debbie Harden-Vigus raises alpacas in Pennsylvania. She's been doing it for 21 years and says she appreciates the autonomy the alpaca business gives her.
And, truth be known, she loves them.
"Show me anyone who doesn't love alpacas. I haven't found anyone yet," she said.
The National Alpaca Show is all weekend at the National Western Livestock Complex. It's free to the public.AlertMe