World’s oldest LLAMA celebrates his 27th birthday at New Mexico home
There may be drama in the llama community as one New Mexico animal just booted out a fellow creature to become the oldest living llama in the world.
Dalai Llama celebrated his 27th birthday over the weekend, officially surpassing the current Guinness World Record holder at 26 and going way beyond the typical lifespan of a llama, which is about 20 years.
Dalai’s owners, the Strait family of Albuquerque, have already started the application process to get him into the record books. The previous holder, Rapper, a llama in Olympia, Washington, was 26 years and 258 days old at the time of certification.
This is Dalai Llama who celebrated his 27th birthday over the weekend
The family threw Dalai a full birthday party, inviting friends to come celebrate
The one-eyed llama is owned by Andrew Thomas and Kee Straits, along with their daughter Samibah ‘Sami’ Straits.
The family, who told local media Dalai is ‘definitely a part of’ their family, threw the llama a party on Saturday and even invited some of their friends.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, guests were fed ribs, burgers and chocolate cake, and donned party hats and decorations.
Dalai, however, ate a personal alfalfa ‘cake’ with candles reading ’27.’
Also in attendance was Dalai’s best friend, Gelato, a Nigerian dwarf goat.
Thomas said they are so close that Gelato cries when Dalai leaves the pen.
The pair also sleep together, the owner said.
‘It’s the cutest thing,’ Thomas told the Journal.
‘This llama is bringing everyone together,’ said Shannon Fleg, a family friend of Thomas and Straits who attended the party. Fleg brought a sign and a carton of apples as a gift.
The llama worse this colorful beaded sash on the day of his party
Party attendees got the chance to ‘play’ with Dalai
The family, who told local media Dalai is ‘definitely a part of’ their family, threw the llama a party on Saturday and even invited some of their friends
Say cheese! Dalai is now the oldest living llama in captivity
Kee Strait (left) and Andrew Thomas (right) with Dalai Llama
The Straits have owned Dalai since 2007.
‘He’s definitely a part of our family. He means a lot to us. My daughter and I were both born in Peru, and llamas, you know, we highly regard them because we live so closely with llamas traditionally,’ said Kee Straits.
For perspective, Dalai has been with the family longer than the couple’s 13-year-old daughter Sami has.
Sami grew up riding on Dalai’s back and continues to have a soft spot for the llama.
‘He was so proud when he put on the saddle,’ Sami said.
The young girl told the Journal she wants to be a vet one day.
The llama is older than the family’s daughter, Sami, who is 13
This chocolate cake was a treat for the human guests
This is a sign brought by one of the family friends who attended the party
The family also owns multiple other animals on their property including guinea pigs, Navajo churro sheep and chickens.
Their love of animals, they say, comes from their heritage.
Kee Straits is Peruvian and Quechua while Thomas is Navajo.
‘We’ve grown up so interdependent with each other,’ Kee Straits said. ‘In Peru, our llamas are part of our ceremonies, and we celebrate them … they’re a livelihood.’
Unfortunately, representatives for Guinness were unable to attend the party but guests who did show up can act as witnesses to prove the claim.
This is the actual Dalai Llama, who Dalai the llama is cheekily named after
Kee Straits, who is Peruvian, said llamas are embedded in her culture
Llamas are native to Peru
Guinness will also require the animal’s ‘birth certificate.’
It generally takes weeks or months for Guinness to certify a world record.
Llamas generally live between 15 and 20 years.