Henry Vilas Zoo welcomes baby alpaca - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Henry Vilas Zoo welcomes baby alpaca


MADISON (WKOW) -- The Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison has a new addition, a baby male alpaca. He's been named Phantom of Birchwood.

Phantom and his mom, Darbella, are both doing well. The zoo says the family is living in the new Children's Zoo barn.

"Even in the winter there is always something to see at the Henry Vilas Zoo," said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. "Phantom is a great addition to our zoo family and we can't wait for residents and visitors to meet him."

The zoo posted video of Phantom's first day in the snow. Click here to watch it.

Alpacas are traditionally kept in herds that graze on the level heights of the Andes of southern Peru, northern Bolivia, Ecuador, and northern Chile. They are the smallest of the camelid species, which includes their cousins llamas, guanacos, and vicunas.

Interim Zoo Director Ronda Schwetz added that Wisconsin's climate is perfect for alpacas. "Alpacas do very well in wintry weather. Phantom, his mom Darbella, and our two other curious alpacas are great to visit now, and even more fun to watch when the snow finally falls."

Henry Vilas Zoo's adult alpaca's were donated last year by Jeff Gunderson of Stoughton.

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