Zoo gets six llamas

The Emperor Valley Zoo is now the home of six llamas.

The llamas arrived on Wednesday by air at the Piarco International Airport.

The Zoological Society of Trinidad and Tobago said the latest acquisition formed part of a larger thrust to continue with the diversification of the animal collection at the zoo.

“These llamas are the beginning of another series of exciting new arrivals for the Emperor Valley Zoo as we are preparing shortly for zebras and impalas,” said Gupte Lutchmedial, President of the Zoological Society of Trinidad and Tobago.

“Not only are we enhancing our African Collection, but we are also adding to the other sections, which in this case is the South American display,” added Lutchmedial.

The six sub-adult llamas (all under one year), two males and four females, were obtained from Safari Enterprises, Texas where they were bred in captivity.

A statement from the Zoological Society, having been given a clean bill of health, the animals travelled overland from Texas to Miami and then by air cargo from Miami to Trinidad.

It says that although they will be under observation for one month for quarantine purposes, they will be available for public viewing.

The llama is a domesticated South American camelid, widely used as a meat and pack animal by Andean cultures since the Pre-Columbian era.

The height of a full-grown, full-size llama is 1.7 to 1.8 m (5.6 to 5.9 ft) tall at the top of the head, and can weigh between 130 and 200 kg (290 and 440 lb).

At birth, a baby llama, called a cria, can weigh between 9 and 14 kg (20 and 31 lb). They are very social animals and live with other llamas as a herd.

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