Thursday, October 08, 2009

There's Someone New at the Zoo

Check out this baby llama!
Isn't he (kind of) cute!

A baby llama is actually called a "cria", and weighs between 20-30 pounds at birth. Obviously this little fella isn't a newborn, but we didn't see him in this pen of pals before either, that is until now. So, he still stands as "someone new at the zoo" for our family.

He was still not too surefooted, a bit clumsy while walking along and so very friendly. I think many zoo animals are so used to looking from their world from the inside out, viewing multiple faces every hour with many handful of food offerings handed to them without working hard at all for their grub.

Very social animals, llamas often tend to prefer life in a herd, content with having buddies near at all times. Llamas are quite the animal; friendly and yet if one gets too close, they are known to give a whopping gob stopper spit in their viewer's face! Ick! I've been witness to such a thing and it is so not pleasant to be on the receiving end, believe me. :)

Here are a few fun facts then about llamas;
  • - Llamas is a South American camelid, wildly used as pack animals by the Inca and other native tribes in the Andes mountains for the most part.
  • - Likened to a horse, they can haul loads for long distances.
  • - Llamas are still used as pack animals, although they are sought after for their meat and fiber.
  • - Weavers especially love this medium for their crafts. Their fur is naturally lanolin free. Crafts gained from the wool are rugs, wall hangings, lead ropes and more.

  • - Full grown llamas grow to heights of 5.5 - 6 feet tall.
  • - Their ears are rather long and slightly curved inward, characteristically known as "banana" shaped. There is no dorsal hump. Feet are narrow, the toes being more separated than in the camels, each having a distinct plantar pad. The tail is short, and fibre is long, woolly and soft.

  • - The gestation period of a llama is 11 1/2 months (350 days). Dams (female llamas) do not lick off their babies, as they have an attached tongue which does not reach outside of the mouth more than half an inch. Rather, they will nuzzle and hum to their newborns.
  • - Diet is usually corn sileage, alfalfa and hay.
  • - When a "cria" is reared properly, it won't spit at their viewers. However grown llamas use spitting as a discipline method towards younger llamas in their pack.

Check out this llamas teeth!

Just imagine the upkeep of such an animal as this one. Although they are very social, very friendly and quite domesticated, it's animal.

Check out this coat of fur below, just when the animal rolled back and forth over the dirt and jumped up again.

If you care to read more of our "Zoo Adventures",
simply click onto THIS LINK HERE.