Cute baby llamas born at Smithills Open Farm
MEET Pumpkin and Gale — two adorable baby llamas born within days of each other.
The little balls of wool — whose names were inspired by Halloween and the recent storms — came into the world last week after their mothers endured 11-month pregnancies.
At birth, a baby llama – known as a cria – can weigh between 9kg and 14kg, but little Gale was barely 5kg when her mother Mango gave birth to her.
Then, two days later on the eve of Halloween, staff at Smithills Open Farm were surprised to see another new arrival, Gale’s half-brother, mothered by Tango.
Farmer Carl Grimshaw, aged 29, separated the llamas from the rest of the animals to let them settle in, and the pair enjoyed their first week of life playing at the farm, in Smithills Dean Road, with their mothers by their side.
Mr Grimshaw, who has worked at the farm since he left school, said: “It was quite a shock to have two llamas born so close to each other because it’s difficult to tell when they’re going to give birth, like you can with cows and sheep, because they’re so woolly. They’re normally pregnant for about 11 months.
“We first found out Mango was pregnant because she was running with the male, Zorro, all the time. So I split the two of them up from the rest of the farm for their safety.
“Then we noticed Tango was pregnant, again with Zorro, who is our only male.”
Mr Grimshaw added: “Both mothers and babies are all fit and well. Gale was born at 2.30pm last Monday, the day of the bad winds – we called her Gale because she can weather all storms.
“She was only about four or five kilos, which is quite small, but they’re all legs and neck. There’s no weight on them — just a little ball of wool for a body.
“Then the male llama was born two days later on the eve of Halloween, so we called him Pumpkin. He’s bigger than Gale, around 6kg, but they’re getting on well.”
Mr Grimshaw said: “Llamas are very friendly creatures — they’re used to human contact so are very calm around them. They will only spit if they are threatened.
“They can often live as long as 30 years old if they’re looked after.”
Alll about llamas
- Llamas are a domesticated camelid which migrated from South America about three million years ago.
- The gestation period of a llama is 11.5 months.
- At birth, a baby llama is called a cria.
- The height of a full-grown llama is between 5ft 5ins and 6ft.
- They can live between 20 to 30 years if they are well looked after.
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