Llama dra­mas

Country Life Every Week - - Quiz -

The one L llama, he’s a priest, The two L llama, he’s a beast, But I will bet a silk py­jama, That there isn’t any three L llama.

Lla­mas, which have been do­mes­ti­cated in South Amer­ica for about 5,000 years, split into two types: the ccara, the one mostly seen here, and the tam­puli, which has heav­ier wool and a top­knot. Lla­mas are part of the camelid fam­ily, with al­pacas, and are re­lated to bac­trian and drom­e­dary camels

Lla­mas should never be rid­den, but they can be trained to pull a cart of up to 124lb car­ry­ing two adults; they will trot and can­ter be­tween the shafts and can reach speeds of 20mph. In 1992, Floyd Zopfi of Wis­con­sin, USA, set a world record for the largest driven hitch by har­ness­ing 56 lla­mas to a sin­gle cart

The first llama was ex­hib­ited in Bri­tain in 1805, at Brookes’s Menagerie in Lon­don. By 1829, there were two at Lon­don Zoo; one was gen­tle, but the other was de­scribed as mo­rose, with a ten­dency to spit at vis­i­tors

In fact, lla­mas don’t spit at peo­ple un­less they’re stressed, al­though they do spit at each other to es­tab­lish peck­ing or­der and per­sonal space

Lla­mas have unique an­ti­bod­ies, which are cur­rently be­ing re­searched by the Read­ing School of Phar­macy at the Univer­sity of Read­ing in con­nec­tion with brain dis­eases such as Alzheimer’s and de­men­tia

The Bri­tish Llama So­ci­ety (www.british­lla­maso­ci­ety.org) asks breed­ers to sign a code of con­duct, pledg­ing that any live­stock sold is hal­ter-bro­ken and that the pur­chaser spends a day han­dling them

Lla­mas are gen­er­ally straight­for­ward to keep and hardy; they’re tidy graz­ers and tend to deposit all their dung in one spot. Four or five lla­mas can live on one acre, with shel­ter; they should never be kept in iso­la­tion

The stuffed ‘push­mip­ul­lyu’—or two-headed llama—made by Steiff for the 1967 film Doc­tor Dolit­tle, star­ring Rex Har­ri­son, was sold by Bon­hams Los Angeles for £3,530 in 2006; it had been owned by a former in­tern at 20th Cen­tury Fox in Swe­den for 38 years

What on earth? Gourlay Steell’s paint­ing (about 1845) of of Vic­to­ria and Al­bert com­ing across lla­mas graz­ing in Wind­sor Great Park

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