This alpaca parade won a world record

Juliaca, Peru - Wandering through the streets of Juliaca in Peru, a 2019 alpaca parade became the largest in history, and for good reason. So, what's the story behind this mother-of-all parade of alpacas?

Alpacas form an incredibly important part of Peruvian culture.
Alpacas form an incredibly important part of Peruvian culture.  © Unsplash/Joakim Honkasalo

Alpacas are a well-loved species, packed full of fluffy fellows so humorous and friendly that they can't help but bring a smile to the faces of most people.

As such happy and positive creatures, it's only natural that the more alpacas fill a space, the better the mood and temperament of whatever the event may be.

This parade in Peru certainly fulfills that criteria, so large it was that it now holds an animal world record. What should you know about the largest alpaca parade in the world, and why? Let's take a look.

Comite Fegasure 2019 was the world's largest parade of alpacas

As confirmed by Guinness World Records, the Comite FEGASUR festival on June 14, 2019, is known to be the largest parade of alpacas ever recorded. The extraordinary event, held in Juliaca, Puno, Peru, saw 1048 alpacas, mostly of the Huacaya and Suri species, march through the streets.

An extraordinary display of alpaca pride, the Feria de Ganadería y Agricultura del Sur was celebrating its 58th year and likely didn't expect to achieve more than just an exciting and entertaining event. By the time the numbers had been counted and the world record achieved, alpacas from all thirteen provinces of Puno had been in participation, and these fluffy fellows had made history.

The parade began with a tribute to the Pachamama, which means "Mother Earth," and was deeply rooted in tradition and a love for these gorgeous animals. People came from all over to see them in all their glory, as well as alpaca farmers who had to travel for hours to arrive at the southern cattle fair.

What makes the whole event all the more impressive is that within just the parade itself, all alpacas had to work a minimum of 0.62 miles while staying within 13 feet of each other at all times. This created a perfect chain of wooly animals winding their way through the streets.

It was a truly impressive feat, with a huge amount of organization needed to navigate the 1048 alpacas through the street without breaking the chain or having any issues - and well worthy of the world record it achieved!

What is the story behind the largest alpaca parade in history?

There are few animals more beloved and humorous than the humble alpaca.
There are few animals more beloved and humorous than the humble alpaca.  © Unsplash/Greg Lippert

The southern cattle fair FEGASUR used the record attempt as a way to celebrate something truly remarkable – the 58th anniversary of the recognition that Peru is the biggest and main exporter of alpaca fiber in the entire world. As such, it was only natural to mark the occasion with a giant alpaca-themed world record. Let's be real; who could blame them?

Interestingly, there was already a record that needed to be beaten. Back in 2017, 461 alpacas were paraded through Macusani, another town in Peru. In the 2019 attempt, though, they only used the Huacaya and Suri alpaca breeds. The former is famous for its unique sponge-like fur, which makes it perfect for a variety of materials and fabrics. It is also the most popular and common alpaca.

The Suri alpaca, though, is a rarer breed, with a little under four million animals worldwide, most of which are found in Peru. They are generally bred for the shiny luster of their coat, which is far longer, fluffier, and curlier than their Huacaya cousins. As a result, the parade featured both of the main alpaca species in common use within Peru.

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Alpacas are truly remarkable animals and certainly worthy of many more accolades than they currently possess. With that in mind, it is fantastic to see this extraordinary parade honored with its very own world record.

Alpaca parades will always bring a smile to the face

Few things are more likely to solicit a positive response from someone than the idea of a giant gathering of alpacas. These funny-looking fellows are some of the most beloved animals in the world, particularly in South America. Famous for their fur, which is similar to sheep's wool, these big boys are incredibly useful and provide a hugely important service to the Peruvian economy.

One particularly amusing fact to finish on is that alpacas primarily communicate via their body language. In particular, they are known to spit at you as a sign of dominance or when they are feeling distressed or upset. Weird, right?

Cover photo: Unsplash/Joakim Honkasalo

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