(ROCKWALL, TX – Oct. 2, 2017) Just thirty or so minutes from downtown Rockwall, tucked away in an undisclosed location near Southfork, sits a rather unusual private ranch known as ShangriLlama. If you’re lucky enough to learn of its existence through word of mouth or the occasional Groupon offering, you can join dozens of curiosity seekers and llama lovers for an up close and personal llama lesson or Llama Walk.
My daughter Samantha recently booked an animal adventure for our family there, as a unique way to celebrate her father’s 52nd birthday. Richard had no idea what he was in for, other than we told him to wear close-toed shoes or cowboy boots. We dropped an additional hint the day before by sharing a funny internet meme featuring a picture of an Alpaca in a Sherpa hat; it read, “Going on an adventure? Alpaca my bags.”
But during our hour-long lesson at ShangriLlama, we learned that Alpacas and llamas are quite different creatures indeed. Llamas are much bigger, and do not produce nearly the amount of wool that Alpacas do. Instead, llamas were born to work and can carry heavy loads in saddle bags.
Contrary to popular belief, these personality-packed, pedigreed llamas don’t spit at people – only at each other – although humans may occasionally get caught in the crossfire. These fascinating pack animals even poop in a pyramid, with the leader crowning the top of the manure pile with his odor-free, nutrient-rich, bean-shaped droppings.
To say hello to a llama, blow in its face. A friendly llama will smell your breath and remember who you are the next time you visit! He may even flare his nostrils and blow back. Richard enjoyed greeting the pack leader, Dalai Llama, and the rest of the gang – Barack O’Llama, Bahama Lllama (a two-time Grand National Champion for Versatility), Como T. Llama (who starred in Starz Digital’s “Llama Cop” comedy series), and Drama Llama (who is part Alpaca).
By Dawn Redig, Blue Ribbon News.
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