Don’t be fooled by their warm, brown eyes and even warmer wool—these llamas aren’t the least bit sheepish. In fact, Kianna, Rock n’ Roll, and Driftwood are guard llamas, placed with the herds at SVF to keep them safe.
As they graze amongst the various groups of sheep and goats, this crack security team provides a natural and vigorous protection against coyotes. By choosing this excellent form of non-lethal predator control, SVF has been certified “Predator Friendly,” which recognizes the foundation’s commitment to wildlife coexistence and conservation.
In the past, SVF typically lost 1-2 sheep per year due to the area’s high coyote population, and introduced the use of guard llamas in 2005. These sociable creatures bonded quickly with their respective flocks, and their instinctive aggressiveness to canines has made them extremely effective guardians. Llamas will charge coyotes and strange dogs and attack if they appear threatening. The one exception to the rule is Dakota, SVF’s valiant herd dog, who has been accepted by the llamas as an honorary “security team” member. Since the llamas’ arrival, there have been no further losses to predators.
Native to South America, llamas are part of the camelid family, which also includes camels and alpacas. Llamas are prized for their soft, lanolin-free wool, dependable sturdiness as pack animals, and even for their meat and milk (which contains higher protein and lactose than cow’s milk).
Llamas are a perfect fit at SVF, where they follow the same diet and schedules for grooming and vaccinations as the sheep and goats. Additionally, they are quiet and friendly animals, contributing to the peaceable kingdom of SVF.