When I first saw Wrangler’s springy gait, he reminded me of a cross between a gazelle and a camel. I learned that the leaping gait is called “pronking” and it involves jumping high into the air by lifting all four feet off the ground simultaneously. Sometimes alpacas pronk during pursuit by a predator but baby alpacas, like Wrangler, do it during play. It’s an alpaca version of the puppy zoomies!
Wrangler was only 2 weeks old at his photo shoot. He bounced, galloped and trotted around the adult alpacas as they grazed. I heard that young alpacas often do this at dusk. Supposedly, this behavior is carried with them from their native South America where the nights get freezing cold. The theory is that it brings their body temperature up before dark to keep them warm throughout the night.
Wrangler got his very own custom album. The distressed leather was a perfect match for him!