Why Do Llamas Spit?


Why Do Llamas Spit?

First of all, yes, llamas do spit. But not for the reasons that you would think; many people are under the impression that they spit as an aggressive ‘Back off!, statement, especially towards humans. But that it an incorrect assumption ‘š the reason many people think this is because they are most often encountered by people in petting zoos, which are horrible environments for llamas. Llamas are best in herds, and get very lonely when they are not with a herd. They begin to think of people as other llamas, or of themselves as a person, and they will then begin to spit.

Generally, it is just a tussle that llamas will spit over, and the tussle is nearly always over food or a hierarchy issue. A hierarchy is the pecking order, aptly named for the hierarchy of birds, and decides who is the most important llama in the herd. The higher on the chain, similar to the chain of command in the military, the better benefits that llama gets. First to get food, first to get groomed, first to pick a mate. But it also means that they have more responsibility. They are the protectors and providers of the herd, and have to make sure that the herd moves to where food is, and that they are safe from predators.

Llamas will also spit at people if they have been mishandled or mistreated. It is not so aggressive as a warning, but a defensive ‘Stay Back,. Humans that have invaded their territory, such as at a petting zoo, are frightening to them. Llamas also have to be trained to be in a petting zoo, and if they are not trained properly, spitting can occur. It is nothing that cannot be handle, but violence towards these animals is not the answer. They are just trying to keep themselves safe from harm.

Author: kelsey

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3 Responses

  1. Caroline Wilson

    October 30, 2011 5:29 pm

    The beginning of this sentence doesn’t read correctly. It is nothing that cannot be handle. The sentence should read It is nothing that they can’t handle, but violence towards these animals isn’t the answer.


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