Alpacas land in Montreal, causing a furry frenzy

Click to play video: 'Alpacas where you least expect: in Montreal’s old port'
Alpacas where you least expect: in Montreal’s old port
WATCH: Alpacas where you least expect: in Montreal's old port – Feb 29, 2020

Montreal’s old port is known for many things. You might not expect alpacas to be one of them.

For March break, Montreal’s Pointe-à-Callière museum is hosting a variety of free indoor and outdoor activities to kick off its Incas of Peru exhibition — and the alpacas are invited.

“We know that llamas and alpacas are really popular right now, there’s kind of a trend, but on social media, people were really excited,” said Pointe-à-Callière spokesperson Eveline Trudel-Fugère.

In North America, the fluffy animal is known for its soft fleece and sassy personality, but for the Incas of Peru, alpacas were crucial to their livelihood — and they’re still a big part of Peruvian culture to this day.

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“What’s really special about the exhibition is that we’re looking at textile, which was more valuable than gold at the time for Incas and pre-Colombian civilization,” said Trudel-Fugère.

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“There are alpacas all over the world right now but still there is no other country than Peru that provides alpaca fibre — they produce like 90 per cent,” said Annie Lemoyne, co-owner of La vie en alpaga.

As part of its festivities, the museum is hosting Peruvian-inspired workshops and crafts for Montrealers of all ages.

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“We know that animals are really popular with kids and we really wanted to bring this kind of educative aspect to our activities,” said Trudel-Fugère.

Lemoyne said it took the animals — and them — a bit of time to get adjusted to the city but they eventually settled down.

“They began eating and we were reassured that they would be OK,” said Lemoyne.

It was a dream come true for many who got the chance to see alpacas for the first time.

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“I’ve always wanted to go see alpacas in real life so I thought it would be nice to come here,” said Eduardo Viana while feeding an alpaca a fistful of hay.

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“I think it’s nice because in a city you don’t really see animals — other than pigeons,” said Noah Chevalier.

The big stars of the show will be at Pointe-à-Calliere until March 7.

The Incas of Peru exhibition is free to the public on Saturday for Montreal’s Nuit Blanche.

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