Alpacas have been domesticated for about 6,000 years. The Moche people of Peru have been using alpacas in their art for thousands of years. There are no known wild alpacas; all breeds are domesticated.
Alpacas are too small to be used as pack animals (like their relatives, the llama and camel). They are primarily bred for their soft fiber (fur) and their meat. The Andean inhabitants used to consider alpaca meat a rare delicacy.
Alpacas are social herd animals. They live in large groups, usually led by an alpha male. These large groups have been used as “guard llamas” for herds of sheep. They make a loud, high-pitched noise when an intruder (wold, coyote, etc) is near. The alpacas will attack using their front feet and spit at the intruder.