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  • markcskilling

Love a Llama!

OK, so Llama's are not an endangered species. There are an estimated 7 million Llama's (and Alpacas) in South America. But just like any other animal, they deserve protection from abuse. Not only are Llamas kinda cute but they are also important to humans, particularly to the Andean communities of Peru, Argentina, Chili and Bolivia where they are the traditional "workhorse" and also provide warm fleece.

(As a quick side note, although Llamas and Alpacas are similar with both belonging to the camel family (Camelidae) they differ in size, coat and temperament among other characteristics. Details on the similarities and differences can be found here.)

With the encroachment of tourism and economic modernization stretching to even the most remote mountain tops, Llamas (and Alpacas) are not being sustained in places where they are needed the most which has negatively impacted traditional Andean communities. There is a conservation group working to fix that. The Llama Pack Project is focused on the reintroduction of Llamas as environmentally friendly pack animals that serve as resources for sustainable rural development and ecosystem conservation in the Andes mountains. LLP provides environmental education and vocational training to Andean communities, located at 10,500-14,500 feet above sea level, to give residents the necessary skills to pursue an attractive alternative to urban dwelling and to preserve the Andean traditional culture.

As essentially domesticated animals (like horses) Llamas are kept by humans and sometimes also abused by humans. When abuse happens they need our help. There are animal welfare groups, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) that work to protect against Llama abuse such as in this reported case of abuse and this one.

Let's try to stop animal abuse and let's Love a Llama!

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