Alpacas coming to Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines for limited time experience

The Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines says eight alpacas will visit the zoo for the summer.
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 10:22 AM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - Blank Park Zoo said eight alpacas will be visiting the zoo for a limited time, starting this week.

Zoo leaders said it’s part of an experience they’re offering over the summer with partner Rusty Stars Alpaca.

“It’s very exciting to bring a new interactive experience to Blank Park Zoo,” said Anne Shimerdla, president and CEO. “Not only will you be able to learn about these interesting animals, but you’ll have the opportunity to feed, interact and take a picture.”

Alpacas, originally from Peru, are known for their unique look with long-legs, neck and small head. They’re raised for their soft fiber, which is used to make things like clothing, tapestries and blankets.

People will be able to see the alpacas until Labor Day. On select days, zoo leaders said the Des Moines Weavers and Spinners Guild will demonstrate how alpaca’s fiber is turned into products.

The zoo released the following information about where and when to see the animals:

Alpaca Acres

  • Location: near Kids’ Kingdom at Blank Park Zoo (former camel ride area)
  • Hours: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m., daily
  • Opens: May 26
  • Cost: $6 admission ($5 member) plus $2 to feed

Des Moines Weavers and Spinners Guild demonstrations

  • June 7, 10, 17, 28
  • July 5, 15, 26, 29
  • August 2, 12, 16, 26
  • 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

This new attraction comes in addition to Blank Park Zoo’s new cotton-top tamarins, which the zoo unveiled earlier this month.