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Don’t mess with Mama Llama!

This llama is wary of the photographer Mat Fascione, see how its ears are down and back, think of it as the llama’s squint-eyed look

Don’t mess with the Llama, he means business!  Sometimes called an “attack Llama,” llamas male or female, are great protectors of their herds, but you shouldn’t consider the llama to be an attack animal, more of a guardian instinctively reacting to protect its family. Llamas are not only kept for their wonderful spinning fiber but they are also kept as guard animals to protect farmer’s livestock. They do this in many ways and instinctively act as a Shepard would. Llamas are extremely familiar with their surroundings and will make it known if a predator has been spotted by making a startling call. Once the predator has been spotted the Llama will go into fight or flight mode and one of two things will most likely happen. The Llama has been known to herd the livestock into a tight group and will actually lead them away from the predator to a safe place. The other option doesn’t bode well for the predator. Llamas will actually run and chase the predator pawing or kicking at it. Although it doesn’t sound too harmful they have been known to kill and severely injure dogs and coyotes.

Flint the llama stands with a sheep watching the events across the fence line. Photo: Bishma

A study was done in 1990 where 80% of farmers reported that the guard llamas were either effective or very effective and the loss of livestock rate dropped from 21% to 7% where guard llamas were introduced. Guard llama are great for small spinner’s flocks, where in semi-rural areas, domestic dogs will challenge and harass the fence lines. The guard llama will protect inside the enclosure keeping predators away from the fence but not move to attack over fences.

If you are interested in learning more about guard llamas or other guard animals check out

Predator Friendly’s links on Guard Llamas, Donkeys and Dogs!

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