National Llama Day is Thursday
Tomorrow is National Llama Day.
The staff at El Capitan Canyon in Santa Barbara does, and they are joining the national tongue-in-cheek holiday with two inaugural events — a free community open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and a Llama Festival and Celebration for guests only from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday.
“What makes El Capitan Canyon so unique are the resident llamas along with other animals that share the resort with its guests,” said Richard Good, general manager. “The open house is also a rare opportunity for the community to visit the resort, which is traditionally open for guests only.”
El Capitan Canyon has dozens of goats, sheep, llamas and even a resident donkey. Among them are two new llamas, who are 9 and 10 months old.
The celebration on Saturday will include live music by Cyrus Clark and the Satterly Brothers and children’s activities with llama tattoos, coloring books, face painting and llama cookies.
“Larry Miller is our resident farmer and maintenance manager. He has been here a number of years and is super informative, the real deal. We call him the Goat Whisperer. Larry will be on hand to interact with guests during the two events,” Mr. Good told the News-Press.
According to Google, National Llama Day was first celebrated in 1932 after it was recognized how important the llama was in Canada following a drought in the province of Manitoba, where many livestock died, especially sheep.
The llama is known for its hardiness, so if there was one animal that proved its resilience during a drought while others were dying, the llama was likely it, according to the website.
Other fascinating facts about the animals that are closely related to the domesticated alpaca include the following:
— They can live as long as 30 years.
— They make great guards because they charge at coyotes or dogs and often make high-pitched screams at intruders.
— There are more than 150,000 llamas in the U.S. and millions in their native home of South America.
— Females are usually larger than males.
— Llamas make excellent guards for herds of small animals. They are very social and will “adopt” a group of sheep or goats as their own herd.
— Llamas are smart and can be easily trained.
— Llamas are the camel’s hippie cousins.
— One of the ways llamas communicate is by humming.
— They can make a high-pitched scream, and they spit to assert dominance over other members of their pack and to deter predators.
— They almost always give birth to only one baby, known as a cria, at a time which weighs 20 to 35 pounds.
“Llamas have been an important part of the El Capitan family for more than 20 years. It’s about time we celebrated them, and this could be the start of a new tradition,” said Mr. Good.