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Provided by Alpacas of Spring Acres.

All About Alpacas

April 13, 2022

Zanesville alpaca farm invites visitors

By Katie Millard | For The Post

Tranquil Spring Acres farm in Zanesville houses some unique tennents. The rolling, winsome 180-acre land is flooded with furry, charming alpacas.

Lindsay Warne, chief marketing officer at The Alpacas of Spring Acres, said the farm has about 100 Suri alpacas, and visitors can schedule tours to meet them all.

Warne said the farm began years ago after the owners, married couple Albert and Rebecca Camma, retired. Albert Camma was a neurosurgeon in Zanesville, and the pair initially intended to retire to Hilton Head, but he kept getting called back to Ohio to help with various cases. After a while, the constant travel weighed on them, so Warne explained they moved back to a plot of land they owned in Zanesville.

Warne said the Cammas love animals, and one day they visited an alpaca farm, an experience that shaped the rest of their life.

“An alpaca was born right when they arrived at the farm, so there was no going back for them then,” Warne said. “I don't even know how long it took but by Christmas, that year, they had a herd of 12 and pretty much it just exploded.”

Warne said she too had a fate-like experience joining the farm. She was fairly certain she would not take the job, but as soon as she stepped on the property she said she fell in love with how beautiful it was. She has now been there five years.

Warne said each of the alpacas has a name and distinct personality. The names are typically based on the mother, with sequences where everyone in the family begins their name with the same letter or with all those in a lineage sharing relevant cultural references.

“Once you spend a lot of time with something or someone, you see the tiny differences,” Warne said. “They have different shaped eyes, different shaped noses, some of them have random colorations on one spot or another. Some of them you can tell straight up by their personality. If you go into the boy barn and you hear someone making a bunch of noise, you know that's Alejandro.”

The farm is also home to a host of other animals, including llamas. The llamas have similar needs to alpacas but can serve as guard animals, whereas alpacas tend to flee, although Warne notes these particular llamas are unaggressive.

“My boss, when she was starting her herd, she needed to pick one llama out of four llamas,” Warne said. “And she ended up with four llamas. She took them all. So technically they're for guardians, but they're also just because she loves them too.”

Visitors can enjoy tours of the farm, many led by Warne, as well as shop at the farm store. The alpacas are sheared yearly, and each individual alpaca’s fur is turned to wool, which is labeled with the specific alpaca’s name. This way, visitors can purchase fibers from their favorite alpaca, along with a variety of alpaca fiber goods.

Warne said alpaca fibers are highly valued because they carry the warmth of sheep’s wool without the itch and are hypoallergenic. She said she has even heard rumors that alpaca fibers are flame resistant, although she notes she has not tested it. Warne added their specific alpacas’ fibers have a unique history, as in Incan time period, only royalty could use Suri fibers for their clothes, whereas everyone else used Huacaya alpaca fibers.

The property also has a bed and breakfast, although Warne said they are not offering new reservations at this time and may be phasing out the bed and breakfast option. Jackie Fessel, a Hilliard resident, spent the night there for her birthday in 2019.

“I have always had a really creepy obsession with alpacas,” Fessel said. “I don't know why. Everybody has a favorite animal and mine has always been the alpaca.”

Fessel’s love for alpacas knows few bounds, and her visit to Spring Acres is just one of many alpaca experiences she has sought out, once even doing yoga with alpacas. Fessel said she stayed at the Spring Acres bed and breakfast and took a tour of the farm, but she realized the two were somewhat separate.

Fessel said Albert’s ex-wife said she owned the bed and breakfast, as she had kept their house in an amicable divorce, and he had gotten the land, upon which he built a new house and the alpaca farm with Rebecca

“You don't have to spend the night — you can do both or you can do either, or any combination,” Fessel said. “You don't have to go look at alpacas if you spend the night at the bed and breakfast. It's just all there together. You can kind of pick and choose.”

Fessel reiterated Warne’s feeling that the farm itself was stunning. She said her tour of the farm was very informative and that she’d enjoy going back again.

Wil Hoffman, a senior studying communication studies, said he had a classmate in high school with their own alpaca farm, from whom he enjoyed learning about the animals.

“They weren't very hostile,” Hoffman said. “I learned a couple of things while I was there. They have long necks so that they can see predators because they're typically mountainous in terms of regions, so they need to look over rocks and over boulders and such.”

To see alpacas in Ohio, visitors can book tours on Spring Acres online or by direct messaging on Facebook. Warne requests people not drop in, as oftentimes random visitors will regretfully not be able to get a spontaneous tour.

“Alpacas are interesting, such an interesting creature,” Fessel said. “It's really fun to talk to these people who work with them and live amongst them because they're very unique. Each one is different.”

The alpacas declined a request to comment.

AUTHOR: Katie Millard
EDITOR: Kayla Bennett
COPY EDITOR: Anna Garnai
PHOTO: Provided by Alpacas of Spring Acres