Llama is the official national animal of Bolivia. Llama was entitled to the official Bolivian national animal. The scientific name of the llama is Lama glama. The llama is a “camelid” which means it is related to camels (although it doesn’t have humps). It is also more closely related to the alpaca, vicuña, and guanaco, which are also camelids.
These camelids are indigenous to the Andean region of South America and can be found in Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Ecuador and many other places along the Andes Mountains and highlands. They are pretty tough animals and the Incas used llamas as pack animals for thousands of years because of their strength. The llamas are known for being surefooted on the rocky paths of the mountains and they can even carry heavy loads.
National Animal of Bolivia Facts—
- Common Name: Llama
- Scientific Name: Lama glama
- Type: Mammal
- Color: A llama may be solid, spotted, or marked in a wide variety of patterns, with wool colors ranging from white to black and many shades of gray, beige, brown, red and roan in between.
- Height: 1.7 to 1.8 m (5.6 to 5.9 ft)
- Weight: 130 and 200 kg (290 and 440 lb)
- Diet: Herbivore
- Cubs: August and September are the months of passion for the llamas and then the males struggle to achieve supremacy in the direction of the herd or the possession of several females. Between 348 and 368 days after intercourse, only one child is born. At birth, the calf weighs between 8 kg and 16 kg.
- Behavior: Llamas are very social herd animals. A llama’s social rank in a herd is never static. They can always move up or down on the social ladder by picking small fights. Their fights can be visually dramatic, with spitting, ramming each other to knock the other off balance.
- Lifespan: 20 years
Bolivia’s national animal Llama is a very sociable animal and enjoys being with other llamas in a herd. The llama is also believed to be a very intelligent animal as they are commonly taught tasks which the llama learns with only a few repetitions of the task. Baby llamas are known as crias. The female llamas give birth to crias while standing up. The gestation period for a llama is typically between 11 and 12 months. The birth of the cria is over within half an hour.
Surprisingly, crias are usually standing up and attempting to walk within an hour of their birth! The mating of llama takes place throughout the year and baby llamas are most of the time born in the morning when the weather condition is warm. This is believed to boost the fertility rate of the cria. The llama is an herbivore and gets most of its nutrition from grass, leaves and young shoots. Llamas also do not have the same water retaining properties of their camel cousins, meaning that the llama must drink more often and llamas, therefore, prefer to be close to water.
The national animal of Bolivia, Llama is an important animal to the Bolivian people. Their wool is used for making woven Bolivian clothing like sweaters, gloves, winter caps, and coats because it is very thermal. The only problem is when it gets wet it smells really bad. It also shrinks so it has to be ensured that one must never put the wool clothing into the dryer. In Bolivia, some people also eat llama meat. It is used in several traditional dishes and is also ground like hamburger meat. These animals and their wool are also used in many other rituals by curanderos (medicine men – it means “healers”) and kallawayas, who are like soothsayers and historians all in one.