Sheffield's Graves Park Animal Farm welcomes arrival of new baby llama

Staff at Sheffield’s Graves Park Animal Farm are hoping visitors will show a ‘lot of llama love’ for a new addition who was born at the centre this week.

Friday, 28th February 2020, 7:35 pm
Updated Friday, 28th February 2020, 7:35 pm

Graves Park Animal Farm welcomed the new baby llama, or cria and they are officially called, at around 8am on Thursday, February 27.

Both the llama mother, who is called Lettuce and has been at the farm between four and five years, and the newborn female are doing well and already proving a hit with visitors.

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The newest addition at Graves Park Animal Farm

Pregnant llamas have the ability to delay delivery, often extending the 11-month gestation period to wait for nice weather – but this proved not to be the case here.

Staff member Paul White said: “Mum and baby are both doing well however they aren’t enjoying the weather as the farm is currently very wet.”

The newborn, who hasn’t yet been given a name, is now part of the farm’s six-strong herd which includes three elderly llamas and two other youngsters who were both born around 18 months ago.

A competition is now open on the Graves Park Animal Farm Facebook page to name the baby llama, with favourites so far including ‘Gem’, after the small type of lettuce, or similarly ‘Iceberg’, which has a double meaning as she was born during the cold weather.

Animal Farmworkers Emily Ogden and Amelia Hattersley-Mather, pictured with the baby llama

The winner will be chosen on Monday, March 9.

Crias can walk almost immediately after birth and typically weigh around 14kg pounds.

A full-grown llama can weigh between 130 and 200kg with its head reaching up to six feet tall.

Dams, or female llamas, will not lick off the leftover amniotic sac from their babies at birth as they have an attached tongue that does not reach outside of the mouth more than half an inch. Instead, mother and baby will hum to each other as a way to bond.

The newest addition at Graves Park Animal Farm, pictured with her mother and sister

Llamas are domestic animals often used to move goods from place-to-place by the people of the Andes Mountains and are a South American relative of the camel, although they do not have a hump. They will spit to show their dominance over other llamas.

The newest addition at Graves Park Animal Farm, pictured with her mother Lettuce
The newest addition at Graves Park Animal Farm, pictured with her mother Lettuce
The newest addition at Graves Park Animal Farm