National Llama Day is annually celebrated on December 9th in the United Statre. This day celebrates and appreciates Llamas! They are highly social mammals that range in the Andes mountain of South America.
Llamas are also closely related to camels (but without the hump) are unique and interesting creatures. With their big eyes and long eyelashes, llamas are rather adorable – and also a bit feisty!
National Llama Day is the perfect day to appreciate one of the fuzziest farm animals around. So whether you're cuddling up with your favorite llama or sharing some fun llama facts with your friends and family, December 9 is your day to celebrate.
|National Llama Day
|December 9, 2022
|The day day celebrates and appreciates Llamas!
National Llama Day History:
The ancestors of llamas are thought to have originated from the Great Plains of North America about 40 million years ago, and subsequently migrated to South America about three million years ago during the Great American Interchange. By the end of the last ice age (10,000–12,000 years ago), camelids were extinct in North America. As of 2007, there were over seven million llamas and alpacas in South America and over 158,000 llamas and 100,000 alpacas, descended from progenitors imported late in the 20th century, in the United States and Canada.
The Moche people frequently placed llamas and llama parts in the burials of important people, as offerings or provisions for the afterlife. The Moche of pre-Columbian Peru depicted llamas quite realistically in their ceramics. In the Inca Empire, llamas were the only beasts of burden, and many of the people dominated by the Inca had long traditions of llama herding. For the Inca nobility, the llama was of symbolic significance, and llama figures were often buried with the dead. In South America, llamas are still used as beasts of burden, as well as for the production of fiber and meat. The Inca deity Urcuchillay was depicted in the form of a multicolored llama.
One of the main uses for llamas at the time of the Spanish conquest was to bring down ore from the mines in the mountains. Gregory de Bolivar estimated that in his day, as many as 300,000 were employed in the transport of produce from the Potosí mines alone, but since the introduction of horses, mules, and donkeys, the importance of the llama as a beast of burden has greatly diminished. In Chile hueque populations declined towards extinction in the 16th and 17th century being replaced by European livestock.
Llamas were first imported into the US in the late 1800s as zoo exhibits. Restrictions on importation of livestock from South America due to hoof and mouth disease, combined with lack of commercial interest, resulted in the number of llamas staying low until the late 20th century. In the 1970s, interest in llamas as livestock began to grow, and the number of llamas increased as farmers bred and produced an increasing number of animals. Both the price and number of llamas in the US climbed rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s.
National Llama Day Significance:
These sturdy creatures are domestic animals used by the peoples of the Andes Mountains. (Their wild relatives are guanacos and vicuñas). Native peoples have used llamas as pack animals for centuries. Typically, they are saddled with loads of 50 to 75 pounds. Under such weight they can cover up to 20 miles in a single day. Pack trains of llamas, which can include several hundred animals, move large amounts of goods over even the very rough terrain of the Andes.
Llamas are willing pack animals but only to a point. An overloaded llama will simply refuse to move. These animals often lie down on the ground and they may spit, hiss, or even kick at their owners until their burden is lessened. They graze on grass and, like cows, regurgitate their food and chew it as cud. They chomp on such 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. These attributes make them durable and dependable even in sparse mountainous terrain.
Llamas are social animals and live with others as a herd. Llamas can learn simple tasks after a few repetitions. When using a pack, they can carry about 25 to 30% of their body weight for 8 to 13 km (5–8 miles). The name llama (in the past also spelled "lama" or "glama") was adopted by European settlers from native Peruvians. Hence they contribute much more than transportation to the human communities in which they live. Leather is made from their hides, and their wool is crafted into ropes, rugs, and fabrics. Llama excrement is dried and burned for fuel. Even in death, llamas can serve their human owners—some people slaughter them and eat their meat.
Llamas plays a significant role as a cultural symbol in South America especially in Native American tribes. Today llamas are also seen as the official symbol of the South American country of Peru. Llamas are also getting more and more popular in the US as well and their popularity is continuously increasing as from birthday cards to embroidered pillows, llamas have been trending everywhere. National Llama Day is the perfect excuse to break out your "No prob-llama shirt." And celebrate this amazing and fascinating creature of the Americas.
National Llama Day Facts:
Let's take a look at some of the most interesting and fascinating facts about our amazing llamas so that you might love and adore them even more:
- Llamas live in herds, and will even 'adopt' groups of sheep or goats as their own herd. They protect their herds by chasing off predators like coyotes.
- Like dogs, llamas can be trained as therapy animals to work in hospitals and schools. Many say llamas have a "soothing aura."
- Llama fur is very soft and warm, yet lightweight. Their soft undercoat is used for fine fleece in clothing and baby blankets, while their courser outer coat is used for rugs and rope.
- Llamas can shoot green spit up to 10 feet away. Although they seldom spit at humans (unlike their camel cousins), llamas will spit to establish pecking order within the herd.
- Llamas are vegetarians. And they have highly efficient digestive systems.
- Similar to dogs, llamas can have a variety of special markings; however, their close relatives, alpacas, are usually solid in color.
- There are currently over 150,000 llamas available in the United States.
Most Searched FAQs on National Llama Day:
1. When is National Llama Day celebrated?
National Llama Day is annually celebrated on December 9th in US.
2. What is so special about llamas?
In most parts of the world, llamas are prized as both pets and cattle, herbivores known for being smart, gentle, easy to train, and helpful with transportation. (And not as commonly sheared for wool as the alpaca, which produces a softer fleece.)
3. Are llamas friendly?
Llamas are well-socialized, very friendly, and pleasant to be around. They are extremely curious and most will approach people easily.