Carlson’s Llovable Llamas charmed EP Library guests

Letitia Denham

Intermittent bursts of rain couldn’t hold the crowds away from 4 cute llamas visiting the Eden Prairie Library on Sunday, June 18.

Mocha, Bob Marley, Sophia, and Journey every obtained their fair proportion of walks, pats, and hugs from guests starting from mere infants to senior residents, as they milled concerning the Studying Backyard behind the library.

Eden Prairie resident Ken Fricke mentioned he wouldn’t have missed the occasion for the world.

“I’ve had it on my calendar for months,” he mentioned, as he strolled with an especially agreeable llama named Bob Marley.

“Once I noticed this occasion within the paper, I mentioned, ‘I’ve acquired to go.’ Three of my grandkids are additionally on their means over.”

Ken Fricke with Bob Marley, a 10-year-old male llama.

The llamas reside in Waconia at Carlson’s Llovable Llamas, which was based 25 years in the past by Rick Carlson.

Having grown up on a dairy farm in central Minnesota, Carlson mentioned that as a substitute of dwelling on the town, he determined he wished to reside within the nation and have some animals. It was vital to him to have animals that have been good with children, particularly since he had kids on the time who favored to have their pals come over.


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Deciding what sort of animals to have was the onerous half. “Most individuals love animals, however most animals don’t care about folks. Cows will kick you randomly, goats soar on you, and sheep are about this excessive and take out your knees, and all that type of stuff,” he joked.

Nevertheless, he mentioned as soon as he interacted with some llamas at totally different occasions, elevating them turned the apparent alternative. “Every little thing about them was simply so good, they usually simply surfaced to the highest simply,” he mentioned.

Carlson mentioned that his llamas are well-socialized, pleasant, and delicate with people: “That’s in all probability the principle remark I get from everybody — how mellow and docile they’re.”

Though this was Carlson’s first occasion on the Eden Prairie Library, Carlson mentioned he continuously brings his llamas to instructional occasions at libraries and different areas across the state. With out fail, he mentioned his llamas are at all times extraordinarily common with guests.

The general public can also be in a position to guide visits prematurely to Carlson’s farm to fulfill and stroll with the llamas, host birthday events, attend llama camps, and extra.

The llamas are additionally out there for outings together with particular occasions, college settings, and remedy visits. This summer time, Carlson’s llamas will participate within the Minnesota Zoo’s Llama Trek exhibit, which they’ve finished for the previous 5 years.

Carlson additionally leases a few of his llamas to college students within the 4-H program, who typically take them to the county honest in addition to the Minnesota State Honest. Followers of the state honest could have seen a few of Carlson’s llamas collaborating with their 4-H handlers within the extraordinarily common annual Llama-Alpaca Costume Contest.

Enjoyable details about llamas

Along with attending to work together with the llamas, guests to the Eden Prairie Library occasion additionally had the possibility to study extra about them.

Carlson defined to the attentive crowd that llamas are good, social, curious herd animals native to the mountains of South America. As cold-weather animals with thick, heat fleeces, they’re well-suited to being exterior even throughout harsh Minnesota winters.

Every spring, the llamas’ our bodies are sheared of their high-quality fleeces, that are then cleaned and spun into extraordinarily comfortable yarn. Shearing retains the llamas cool over the new summers, and the fleeces develop again in time to maintain them heat in winter.

Carlson demonstrated that as members of the camel household, llamas have a break up higher lip and backside tooth within the entrance of their mouths. This permits them to seize meals extra simply and delicately.

“It’s type of like fingers, after which they use their tongue to control meals to the again of their mouth the place they’ve tooth on the highest and backside,” he mentioned.

Rick Carlson demonstrated how Mocha the llama’s break up higher lip labored.

Like camels, cattle, sheep, goats, and plenty of wild animals, llamas are also ruminants, which implies they’ve a number of stomachs. “So all that meals they eat — the hay, the grain, the apple treats — it goes by way of all three of these stomachs, and every abdomen digests extra of the vitamins from the meals,” Carlson mentioned.

Llamas don’t have any pure predators, however Carlson mentioned that sometimes coyotes threaten them: “Then the llamas may spit, chase, kick, or pounce on them.”

Nevertheless, llamas normally solely spit after they have disagreements amongst themselves. “It’s extraordinarily unlikely {that a} llama will spit on you,” Carlson reassured the group. Llamas additionally talk with one another by buzzing.

Llamas are quick movers after they need to be. Carlson mentioned they’ll run as much as 30 to 35 miles per hour, however typically have to be tempted with a pail of grain to run that shortly.

A few of Carlson’s llamas shall be racing on the Unicorns and Llamas occasion at Canterbury Park at 1 p.m. on July 9. Tickets and extra info could be discovered right here.

“They get the llamas and the ‘unicorns’ to run in between horse races. It’s actually a enjoyable day,” Carlson mentioned.

When requested why he thinks folks like to return see the llamas a lot, Carlson chuckled, “I don’t know — I suppose as a result of they’re simply so lovable.”

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