Friday, June 14, 2013
Happy Friday! Today we bring you llama facts! Llamas? But they’re not primates? At the sanctuary, we have other residents, including Minnie the donkey, Whisky and Seek the horses and Chili the llama. Chili is a fun-loving llama. He happily runs down the pasture and enjoys play-dates with his doggie friend Bosley. When Bosley was a puppy, they would romp and play for hours in the grass. They still look forward to their time together. Chili is curious, especially when we are unloading groceries from the car. One day, one of the volunteers left her trunk open while unloading and Chili took it as a buffet, standing behind the car and eating the fresh veggies right out of the trunk! He spends time near Pockets, and when I am giving the monkeys bananas outside, Chili always gets the peels, so everyone has a share.
Did you know?
· Llamas are members of the camelid, or camel, family and are related to alpacas, guanacos and vicuñas
· They are hearty animals, living high in the Andes Mountain in rough terrain where indigenous peoples have used them as pack animals for hundreds of years. People also use their wool as it is very soft and lanolin free.
· People also use llamas to guard livestock from predators
· An adult llama can weigh up to 250 pounds. A baby llama is called a cria and weighs between 20 to 30 pounds.
· Gestation is around 350 days – almost one year! At the time of birth all the female or Dams of the herd gather around to protect the birthing mother and her cria. Birth is usually quick and problem-free, over in less than 30 minutes and done while standing.
· Llamas are herbivores who graze on grass and, like cows, regurgitate their food and chew it as cud. They chomp on wads for some time before swallowing them for complete digestion. Llamas can survive by eating many different kinds of plants and they need little water.
· If a llama get annoyed, they pull back their ears and spit. Chili is a happy sweet guy, so that has never happened!
· Llamas are social animals and prefer to live with other llamas or herd animals. Chili enjoys being part of the SBFPS herd along with Minnie and Whisky. He is still working out his relationship with Seek, as she is the new girl on the block.