Pearly gates

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Looking back across the years I see how important dogs have been in my life.  I had been an ordained minister only a few weeks when I received a call from an eight-year-old boy.  His dog had ben killed by a car.  “Mr. Turner,” the lad sobbed, “do you do funerals for dogs ?”  I didn’t quite know how to respond, but I recalled the scriptures’ affirmation of God’s knowing when even a sparrow falls.
I replied, “Why not ?” and I conducted a little ceremony for the boy’s pet.  He was very pleased and then asked, “Is my dog going to heaven ?”  I wasn’t prepared for that question, but my love for animals got me through it.  I’m sure I made the child feel better.
Several years later, I had my own personal experience that provided the answer I had never been sure of.  Our wonderful dachshund, Greta, died, and we were eager to bring another dog into our home.  We went to the pound to get the dachshund whose photo had appeared in the paper.  By the time we arrived, he had been claimed.  Another puppy, sensing our mission, poked her nose through the wire fence.  The look in her eyes seemed to say, “Please pick me.”  We did and we named her Pick.
Whenever I came home, Pick was there to greet me.  I’d say, “Pick, you’ve got it made.  Other animals work for their keep.  A canary sings, cows give milk, chickens lay eggs, but you don’t have to do anything but hang around.”  After 14 years, Pick became very sick, and there was nothing to be done except put her out of her misery.  With a heavy heart I drove her to the vet’s, who did what had to be done.  I then went back to my study and wept for hours.  A few days later, a parishioner who knew of my grief sent me this poem.  It healed my sorrow.  Perhaps it will help others.  I’d like to share it : —–

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I explained to St Peter
I’d rather stay here
Outside the Pearly Gates
I won’t be a nuisance
I won’t even bark
I’ll be very patient and wait
I’ll be here.
chewing on a celestial bone
No matter how long you may be
I’d miss you so much
if I went in alone
IT WOULDN’T BE HEAVEN FOR ME.
—–Dan Turner.

Okavango Delta

Okavango Delta

Okavango Delta is Africa’s “natural oasis”  The Okavango Delta or as it is known a the Okavango Grassland, in Botswana, is a very large inland of found where the Okavango River reaches a “tectonic trough” in the central part of the “endorheic” basin of the Kalahari.

Okavango Delta


All the water reaching the Delta is ultimately evaporated and transpired and does not flow into any sea or ocean.  Each year approximately 11 cubic kilometres of water spreads over the 6,000 — 15,000 sq.km. area.  Some of the flood water drains into Lake Ngami.  The Moremi Game Reserve, a National Park, is on the eastern side of the Delta.  This statistical significance helped the Okavango Delta secure a position as one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, which were officially declared on February 11, 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania and on 22nd June, 2014 the Okavango Delta became the 1000th Site to be officially inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Okavango Delta elephants


The area was once part of Lake Makgadikgadi, an ancient lake that almost dried up by the early Halocene.  Although the Okavango Delta is widely believed to be the world’s largest inland delta, it is not.  In Africa alone, there are two larger similar geological features —— the SUDD on the Nile in South Sudan, and the INNER NIGER DELTA in Mali.

Okavango Delta wildlife


The Okavango Delta is produced by seasonal flooding.  The Okavango River drains the summer rainfall (Jan-Feb) from the Angola Highlands and the surge flows over the 250km by 150km area of the Delta over the next four months (March-June).  The high temperature of the Delta causes rapid transpiration and evaporation, resulting in a cycle of rising and falling water level.  The flood peaks between June and August, during Botswana’s dry winter months, when the Delta swells to three times its permanent size, attracting animals from kilometres around and creating one of Africa’s “greatest concentrations of wildlife”.  The Delta is very flat, with less than 2mts variation in height all across it.

Okavango Delta wildlife


Of the water that flows into the Delta, approximately 60% is consumed through transpiration by plants, 36% by evaporation, 2% percolates in the “aquifer system” and 2% flows into Lake Ngami.  The delta’s profuse greenery is not the result of a wet climate, rather, it is “an oasis in an arid country”.

Okavango Delta


The Okavango Delta is both a permanent and seasonal home to a variety of wildlife, and thus the Okavango Delta is now a popular tourist attraction.  Species include African bush elephant, African buffalo, lechwe, hippos, sitatunga, blue wildebeest, cheetah, hyena, springbok, sable antelope and chacma baboon.  The endangered African wild dog still survives within the Okavango Delta, exhibiting one of the richest densities in Africa.  The Delta also includes over 400 species of birds like the African fish-eagle, Pel’s fishing-owl, crested crane, lilac-breasted roller, hammerkop, ostrich and sacred ibis.  The majority of the estimated 200,000 large mammals, in and around the Delta, are not year-round residents.  They leave with the summer rains to find renewed fields of grass to graze on and trees to browse, then make their way back as winter approaches.  Large herds of buffalo and elephant total about 30,000 beasts.

Okavango Delta lion


 The Okavango Delta is home to 71 fish species, including tiger fish, tilapia and various species of catfish.  Fish sizes range from 1.4m (African sharp-tooth catfish) to 3.2cms (sickle barb).  The same species are to be found in the Zambezi River, indicating a historical link  between the two river systems.

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The most populous large mammal is the LECHWE ANTELOPE, that are more than 60,000 in number.   The LECHWE is a little larger than an Impala with elongated hooves and a water-repellent substance on their legs that enables rapid movement through knee-deep water. They graze on aquatic plants and, like the waterbuck, take to water when threatened by predators.  Only the males have horns.

Okavango Delta


Papyrus and reed rafts make up a large part of the Okavango Delta vegetation.  In the Delta, because of the clean waters of the Okavango, there is almost no mud and the river’s load consists almost entirely of sand.  The plants capture the sand, acting as the glue and making up for the lack of mud and in the process creating further islands on which more plants can take root.

Elephants of the Okavango Delta


The Namibian Government has presented plans to build a Hydropower Station in the Zambezi region, which would regulate the Okavango’s flow to some extent.  While proponents argue that the effect would be minimal, environmentalists argue that this project could destroy most of the rich animal and plant life in the Okavango Delta.  Other threats include human encroachment and regional extraction of water in both Angola and Namibia.

The iconic Ongole

Ongole Bull

The ONGOLE cattle are indigenous to the Andhra region in the Prakasam District in the state of Andhra Pradesh.  The breed derives its name from the name of the place ONGOLE.  Some also refer to this breed as NELLORE CATTLE, as this area was once part of the Nellore area.  The ONGOLE BULL is in great demand, as it is said to possess resistance to both foot and mouth disease and mad-cow disease.  These cattle are commonly used in bull fights in Mexico and some parts of East Africa due to their “strength and aggressiveness”.
Traditionally, the ONGOLE have been raised by local farmers, fed by both the Gundlakamma, one of the rivers that originate from the Nallamala Hills, and in the plains the Paleru River, a tributary of the Krishna River.
ONGOLE BULLS have gone as far as America, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Brazil, Argentina, Columbia, Mexico, Paraguay, Ongole BullIndonesia, West Indies, Australia, Fiji, Mauritius and Philippines.  The BRAHMANA BULL is America is an off-breed of the ONGOLE.  The ONGOLE ISLAND is an island located in Malaysia, where many ONGOLE can be found.  The population of ONGOLE off-breed, in Brazil, is said to be around several millions.  The famous Santa Gertrudis breed developed in Texas, USA have ONGOLE blood.
They are known for the toughness, rapid growth and natural tolerance to tropical heat and are disease-resistant. ongole-bulls-herd-e1341501717728 It was the first Indian breed to gain “worldwide recognition.  The ONGOLE BULL is one of the heaviest breeds.  They weigh approximately half a ton, are 1.5 mts in height and have a body-length of 1.6 mts and a girth measuring 2 mts.
The weight of an ONGOLE COW is 432-455 kg and the milk yield is 600 kg to 2518 kg.  The lactation period is 279 days.  The milk has a butter fat content of over 5%.  This results in large, well-nourished calves with considerable growth by the time of weaning.  ONGOLE COWS stay close to their calves to protect them from predatory animals.
The mascot of the 2002 Indian national Games was VEERA, an ONGOLE BULL.

Marmoset

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The MARMOSET is one of the world’s smallest primates, and is the smallest “true monkey”.  The marmoset belong to the genera Callithrix.
Most marmosets are about 8in in length.  Relative to other monkeys, they show some apparently primitive features : they have “claws” rather than “nails” and “tactile hairs” on their wrists.  They lack wisdom teeth and their brain-layout seems to be marmosetrelatively primitive.  They have distinctive large white ear tufts and their tail is striped, alternate “wide dark” and “narrow pale” bands.  Their coat is grey, black, brown and white with streaks of orange.  Their body temperature is usually variable, changing by up to 4 degrees C in a day.  They are arboreal and weigh less than a can of baked beans.  Claw-like nails enable them to cling to trees.—— Originating in the Atlantic Coastal Forest in North-east Brazil, they have also been introduced in some parts of south-east Brazil, including some urban areas.  They are also raised in captivity.
According to recent research, marmosets exhibit “germine chimerism”, which is not known to occur, in nature, in any other primate.  95% marmoset fraternal twins trade blood through “chorionic fusions”, making them “hematopoietic” chimeras. —— Marmosets are highly active, living in the upper canopy of forest trees and feeding on insects, fruits and leaves.  They have long lower incisors, which allow them to chew holes in tree trunks and branches to harvest the “gum” inside, and some species are specialised feeders on gum.
204247-abandoned-marmosetMarmosets live in family groups of 3 to 15, consisting of 1 to 2 breeding females, an unrelated male, their offspring and, occasionally,  extended family members and unrelated individuals.  Their mating systems are highly variable and can include  —— monogamy, polygamy and, occasional, polyandry.  Adult males, females and other than the mother and older offspring participate in carrying infants.  Most groups  scent-mark and defend the edges of their ranges.  The favourite food of the marmoset is carbohydrate-rich tree sap.  Their territories are centred on the trees that they regularly marmoset cuteexploit in this way.  The smaller marmosets venture into the very top of forest canopies to hunt insects that are abundant there.  They should not be kept as pets as they need expert care.
CALLITHRIX comes from ancient Greek and means “beautiful fur”.  Marmoset from the French “marmouset” is of uncertain etymology.  The marmoset is mentioned in Shakespeare’s TEMPEST, when Caliban says he will instruct his new mater — Stephano, “how to snare the nimble “marmoset” (for eating), on the no-man island where the play takes place (Act 2, Scene 2)  Sax Rohmer’s fictional Doctor Fu Manchu, has a pet marmoset, often perched on his shoulder.

Sunda clouded leopard

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The SUNDA CLOUDED LEOPARD belongs to the sub-family ——— PANTHERINAE.  it was only recently recognised as a distinct species and distinguished from its mainland relative the MAINLAND CLOUDED LEOPARD.
It weighs 11-25 kg, its body length is 69-108cm, its tail length is 61-91cm.  Its longevity —- average 11ys up to 17yrs.  Its litter size is 1-2 cubs.  It has grey fur and the greyish-coat has cloud-like patterns that are of a darker colour than the background.  The special coat pattern and the region where it occurs.
The Sunda Region (Sunda region refers to the islands of Sumatra, Borneo, Java, Bali and the Malayan Peninsula) give the Sunda Clouded Leopard its name.

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Black and pale-whitish animals have been reported from Borneo, but these colour morphs have not been recorded by the increasingly, intense camera trap surveys across the island.  The limbs of the Sunda Clouded leopard are relatively short and marked with black spots.  Its tail is very long (76-88% of the head-body length) with black spots and rings towards the tip.  Males’ tails are typically long and slender, but females tend to have quite fluffy tails.  Its canines are very long in relation to the skull size, longer than for any other extant felid species.  Its long tail and short legs enable it to move more easily in the trees.  The Sunda Clouded Leopard is the largest felid inhabiting Borneo.

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It appears to be forest-dependent, but has also been recorded in mangroves and peat swamp forests.  On Sumatra, it is more abundant in hilly, mountain areas than at lower elevations.  On Borneo, it also inhabits lowland rainforest, possibly due to the fact that there are no tigers on Borneo, which perhaps prefer the lower elevations on Sumatra.
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Very little information about the ecology and behaviour of the Sunda Clouded Leopard is available.  It seems to be solitary and to be active mostly at night, but it can also be active during the day.  It is an excellent climber, it moves easily through trees, where it has been observed hunting primates.  They are also known to travel along forest trails.
It preys on a variety of arboreal and terrestrial species, although the relative importance of each, in its diet, remains unknown.  It has been observed hunting proboscis monkeys and long-tailed macaques and anecdotal evidence suggest it preys on grey-leaf monkeys, porcupines, bearded pigs, sunda-clouded-leopard-new-catmouse deer, common palm civets and great Argus pheasants.  Occasionally, it takes goats and chickens.
It is fully protected in Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.  Recent efforts from Borneo helped and are continuing to increase the knowledge about the Sunda Clouded Leopard density seems to vary considerably across a relatively small spatial scale.  Successful conservation efforts require that habitat destruction and poaching activity is prevented, public awareness is increased and law implementation is enforced.

Ili Pika

Ila Pika


The ILI PIKA, also called , “adorable magic rabbit” is a species of mammal endemic to the Tian Shan Mountains of north-west Chinese province of Xinjiang.

It inhabits areas on high cliff faces.  This species constructs “hay piles” and is a generalized herbivore.  Almost nothing is known about the ecology or behaviour of the species.  It exhibits low population densities.  Only 1 or 2 litters are produced each year, but the litter size for this species is unknown.


Ili Pika China


Populations have declined in the regions of Jipuk, Tianger Apex and Telimani Daban. Only one examined site —- the Bayingou region showed signs of previously observed abundance.  An estimated 2,000 mature individuals existed in the early 1990s.  The exact causes for recently observed  population declines are not known, but it is speculated that an increase in grazing pressure and global atmospheric pollution resulting in climate change are negatively impacting their population.  There are no known conservation measures in place.


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The ILI PIKA was first discovered, by accident, in 1983, and it has remained largely mysterious despite the efforts of naturalists ———- UNTIL NOW.  The man who originally discovered the species —-decades ago ——— Weidong Li finally struck gold last summer, and now National Geographic has published a wonderful photo of the ILI PIKA.  Li, a scientist at the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, led his team up a mountain and was confronted with exactly what he was looking for : the teddy-bear face of a curious ILI PIKA, peeking around a rock.  “They found it hiding behind a rock, and they realised they had found the ILI PIKA,” Tatsuya Shin, a Chinese naturalist who works with Li, told National Geographic.

This adorable “magic rabbit” has a small furry body, mournful eyes and a rusty-red “splodge” on its forehead, but is not very “vocal”.  It is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  It is even rarer than the Panda.  The first time Li found the species, he managed to capture one and send it to a laboratory for identification —which was how he verified it as an entirely new species.  30 years later, a photo was enough to re-ignite his curiosity about the ILI PIKA.

Tibetan Gazelle

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The Tibetan Gazelle also called Goa is a species of antelope that inhabits the Tibetan Plateau.
Tibetan Gazelles are relatively small antelopes , slender and graceful bodies.  Both males and females stand 21-26 inches tall at the shoulder, measure 36-41 inches in head-to-body length and weigh 13-16kg.  Males have long tapering, ridged horns, reaching lengths of 10-13 inches.  The horns are positioned close together on the forehead, and rise more or less vertically until they suddenly diverge towards the tips.  The females do not have horns, and neither sex has distinct facial markings.
They are greyish-brown over most of their bodies, with their summer coats being noticeably greyer, in colour, than their winter ones.  They have short black-tipped tails in the centre of the heart-shaped rump patch.  Their fur lacks an undercoat, consisting of long guard-hairs only.  They appear to have excellent senses, including eye-sight an hearing.  Their thin and long legs enhance their running skills, which is required to escape from predators.

tibetan gazelle Goa

The Tibetan Gazelles are native to the Tibetan Plateau and are widely spread throughout the region, inhabiting terrain between 3,000 and 5,700 metres in elevation.  They are almost restricted to the Chinese provinces of Gansu, Xinjiang, Tibet and Qinghai.
Unlike other ungulates, they do not form large herds and are typically found in small family groups.  Most groups contain no more than 10 individuals and many are solitary.  They have been noted to give short “cries” and “calls” to alert the herd on approach of a predator or other perceived threat.  Their main local threat is the wolf.  They feed on a range of local vegetation, primarily legumes, supplemented by relatively small amounts of grasses and sedges.
For much of the year the sexes remain separated, with the females grazing in the higher altitude terrain than the males.  The females descend from their high pasture around September, prior to the mating season in December.  Gestation lasts around 6 months, with a single young being born between July and August.  The infants remain hidden with their mother  for the 1st two weeks of life, before joining the herd again.  Tibetan Gazelles have lived up to 5 years and 7 months in captivity.

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Although their population has declined over recent years, they do not inhabit regions of high human population and do not significantly compete with local livestock.  Because of their small size, they are not popular targets for hunting and they are classified as Class –2 Protected Species in China.
In Ladakh, they live at high altitudes (15,580-16,570ft), but prefer relatively flat areas with an affinity for warmer south-facing slopes.  They co-exist with domestic yaks and kiang, but are competitive with domestic goats and sheep and avoid herders and their dogs.

Eurasian Lynx

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The Eurasian Lynx is also known as the European Lynx, Common Lynx, the Northern Lynx and the Siberian or Russian Lynx.
The Eurasian Lynx is the largest lynx species, ranging in length  from 80-130cm and standing about 60-75cm at the shoulder. The tail measures 11-24.5cm in length.  Males usually weigh from 18-30kg and females weigh from 8-21kg.

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During the summer, the Eurasian Lynx has a relatively short, reddish or brown coat, which tends to be more brightly coloured in animals living at the southern end of its range.  In winter, however, this is replaced by a much thicker coat of silky fur that varies from silver-grey to greyish-brown.  The under-parts of the animal, including the neck and chin, are white at all times of the year.  The fur is almost always marked with black spots.  Some also possess dark-brown stripes on the forehead and back. The Eurasian Lynx makes a range of vocalization, but are generally silent outside of the breeding season.  It is a solitary animal and very secretive in nature  One of the world’s most solitary predators ——- the Eurasian Lynx —- often referred to as the “keeper of secrets” (in popular folklore), and rarely leaves the forest.  They have been observed to mew, hiss, growl and purr, and, like domestic cats, will “chatter’ ate prey that is just out of reach,.  Mating calls are much louder, consisting of deep growls (in the male) and low “meow-like” sounds (in the female).

Eurasian Lynx

Because of the secretive nature of the lynx, they are seldom heard and their presence, in an area, may go unnoticed for years.  Remnants of prey or tracks on snow are usually observed long before the animal is seen.  It preys largely on small mammals and birds.  Amongst the recorded prey items are rabbits, reindeer, dormice, squirrels, wild boar, red foxes and red deer.  The lynx prefers largely ungulate prey, especially during winter, when small prey is less abundant.  They will also feed on carrion when it is available  Adult Lynx require 1.1-2kg of meat per day, and may take several days to fully consume some of their larger prey.

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The main method of hunting is stalking, sneaking and jumping on prey.  They hunt using both vision and hearing, and often climb on to high rocks or fallen trees to scan the surrounding area.  The Eurasian Lynx inhabits rugged forested country providing plenty of hide-outs and stalking opportunities.  They tend to be less common where wolves are abundant, as wolves have been reported to attack and even eat lynx.  Although they may hunt during the day when food is scarce, the Eurasian Lynx is mainly nocturnal, and spends the day sleeping in dense thickets or other places of concealment.

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The mating season for Eurasian Lynx lasts from Jan-April.  Pregnant females construct dens in secluded locations, often protected by over-hanging branches or tree roots.  The den may e lined with feathers, deer hair and dry grass to provide bedding for the young kittens.  She gives birth to 1 or 4 kittens.  At birth, the kittens weigh 240-430gm and are blind and helpless.  They initially have plain, greyish-brown fur, attaining the full adult colouration around 11 weeks of age.  The eyes open after 10-12 days.  The kittens begin to take solid food at 6-7 weeks, when they begin to leave the den, but are not fully weaned for 5-6mths.  The den is abandoned 2-3 months after the kittens are born, but the young typically remain with their mother until they are around 10 months of age.  The Eurasian Lynx have lived for 21 years in captivity.

Aoshima

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An army of feral cats rules a remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is over-run by felines outnumbering humans six to one.
Originally introduced to the mile-long island of AOSHIMA, to deal with mice that plagued fishermen’s boats, the cats stayed on ———- and multiplied.  More than 120 cats swarm the island, with only a handful of humans for company, mostly pensioners who didn’t join the waves of migrants seeking work in the cities after World War –2.
AOSHIMA, a 30-minute ferry ride off the coast of Ehime prefecture, had been home to 900 people in 1945.  The only sign of human activity, now, is the boat-load of day-trippers from the mainland, visiting what is locally known as “Cat Island”. With no restaurants, cars, shops or kiosks selling snacks, AOSHIMA is no tourist haven.  But ‘cat lovers’ are not complaining.
cats-in-aoshima-island-outnumber-humans-six-to-oneThe allure of cats is not surprising in a country that gave the world “Hello Kitty”, a cartoon character considered the epitome of cuteness.  “Cat Cafes” have long been popular in Tokyo, catering to fans who can’t keep the animals at home because of strict housing regulations that often forbid pets.
The cats of AOSHIMA are not too picky, surviving on the rice balls, energy bars or potatoes they cadge off tourists.  In the absence of natural predators, they roam the island without fear.
Not all the residents are admirers, though.  aoshima 1One elderly woman shooed the animals away with a stick, when they dug up her back garden.  Locals are trying to keep the feline population in check —— at least 10 cats have been neutered.
Residents haven’t taken too kindly to the tourists either.  They don’t mind them coming, but want to be left in peace.  “If people, coming to the island, find the cats healing, then it’s a good thing,” said 65-year-old Hidenori Kamimoto, who ekes out a living as a fisherman.  “I just hope that it’s done in a way that doesn’t become a burden on the people who live here.”

Llama

A Llama is a domesticated South American “camelid”, widely used as pack animal and also for its meat by Andean cultures since pre-Hispanic times.  The name Llama (in the past also spelled ‘lama’ or ‘glama’ ) was adopted by European settlers from native Peruvians.
llama_The Llama appears to have originated from the central plains of North America about 40 million years ago.  They migrated to South America about 3 million years ago.  By the end of the Ice Age (10,000 – 12,000 years ago) camelids were extinct in North America.  As of 2007, there were about 7 million Llamas and Alpacas in South America, and due to its importation from South America, in the late 20th century, there are now over 158,000 Llamas and 100,000 alpacas in the US and Canada.
Lamoids or Llamas (as they are more generally known as a group), were compared, by early writers, to sheep, but their similarity to Camels was soon recognized.  The height of a full-grown Llama is 5.5 – 6 feet tall to the top of the head, and can weigh between 130-200 kilograms.  At birth, a baby llama (called a “cria”) can weigh between 9-14 kilograms.  They typically live for 15-25 years, with some individuals surviving 30 years or more.
That_Llama_Glare_by_mrsnergThe ears are rather long and slightly curved inwards, characteristically known as “banana shaped”.  There is no dorsal hump.  The feet are narrow, the toes being more separated than in the camel, each having a distinct “plantar pad”.  The tail is short, the Z20fibre is long and soft.  The wool, produced by a llama, is very soft and lanolin-free.  Llamas are of many colours, being often white, brown or piebald.  Some are grey or black.
They are very social animals and live with other llamas as a herd.  They are intelligent and can learn simple tasks after a few repititions.  When using a pack, they can carry about 25%-30% of their body weight for 5-8 miles.
They are extremely curious and most will approach people easily.  However, llamas that are bottle-fed or over-socialized and over-handled, as youth, will become extremely difficult to handle when mature, when they will begin to treat humans as they treat each other.  This is characterized by bouts of spitting, kicking and neck-wrestling.  When correctly reared, llamas, spitting at a human, is a rare thing.
They live as a family and take care of each other.  If one notices a strange noise or feels threatened, a warning bray is rent out, and all the others become alert.  They will often “hum” to each other as a form of communication.  If a llama is agitated, it will lay its ears back.
manna-llama-faceYoung, growing llamas require a greater concentration of nutrients than the mature ones, because of their smaller digestive tract capacities.  Llamas produce only one offspring annually.  Llamas have a fine undercoat which can be used for handicrafts and garments.  The coarser outer-guard hair is used for rugs, wall-hangings and lead-ropes.  The fibre comes in different colours ranging from white or grey to reddish-brown, dark-brown and black.  baby-llamaThey are used as burden-beasts.  The endurance of cold, ability to live on the mountain herbage and sure-footedness have peculiarly fitted them for this purpose.  Only the mature males are used as burden-beasts, the smaller females are reserved for their milk and flesh (which resembles mutton) and is extensively eaten.  The dried dung is used for fuel and the m ilk is employed as an article of the native diet.  When over-loaded, llamas lie down and refuse to budge.  When irritated, they have the habit of kicking at their adversaries and spitting quantities of evil-smelling saliva.
A “CAMA” is a crossbreed between a llama and a camel.