Young llama standing in grass

Baby Llama at the Inca Ruins

“Mama Llama’s always near, even if she’s not right here.”
— Anna Dewdney, Llama Lama Red Pajama


Llamas and Inca Ruins

A baby llama (a cria) running around Inca ruins adds lively entertainment to a leisurely stroll through history.

Baby llama at Pumapungo Inca Ruins, Ecuador
Cria at the Inca Ruins

The terraces in Cuenca’s Pumapungo Inca ruins (which I wrote about here) are filled in with grass. Llamas tethered to the ground are moved around the grounds to keep the grass short. Like most baby animals, crias stay close to their mother so they are not tethered. They are able to run and bounce around, learning about the world around them and making friends. On this day, llamas mowed the grass on a large terrace above the gardens.


Llamas "mow" the lawn at Inca ruins, Ecuador
Llama lawn mowers among the Inca Ruins


Seeing Red

At first, we did not notice the baby llama but she was watching everyone. Some people garnered more of her attention than others. People walked around wearing purple, blue, and white. Cria* paid no attention. Until she saw a man in red.

Observant young llama
Cria sees Jorge


Jorge Wants a Nap

Jorge, in his amazing bright red outfit, laid down for a nap. Cria saw in him a new friend! She approached slowly. Jorge sensed something and looked up.

Young llama making new friend
Cria hopes Jorge will be her new friend

For a bit, Jorge lay watching Cria inch closer, then he jumped up. A startled Cria spun to race back to her mom as Jorge departed for a new relaxation location.

Baby llama and teen
Jorge and Cria part, not on amicable terms


Scott Wearing Grey and Blue

After a few minutes of motherly reassurance, Cria returned to Jorge’s spot. Scott approached, seeing if she might be interested in his friendship. Her interest was not piqued. Scott was not wearing red.

Scott with young llama
Cria is not interested in Scott’s grey and blue clothing


Break Time

Exhausted from bounding about, she settled in for a break near her mom.

Young llama resting among adult llamas
Cria taking a break


Cria Follows David

A few minutes into the break, she leaped up and looked over yonder where she spotted David, wearing red! Prancing to the terrace corner, she watched closely while David wandered around the garden, then climbed the terraces until he was one below hers.

Young llama interested in anyone wearing red
Cria watches David

As David walked the lower terrace, Cria followed on the upper one.

Young llama watching guy wearing red
Cria following David

She wanted to be David’s new friend but the direct approach had not worked so well with Jorge. Maybe she could win David over by showing her playful side. It was time to climb around on one of her llama friends.

Young llama playing with an adult
David photographing Cria playing on an adult

Alas, David departed after taking a photograph, leaving Cria to search for a new red-clad human.

Next time, I will wear red. Perhaps you should, too.

* Each name in this post except Scott (my husband) is a product of my imagination.

Why do you think young llamas like red?


Click here to read more about Cuenca, Ecuador.

I am a US Expat in Ecuador. I grew up on a Minnesota farm, worked in IT in California's Silicon Valley, then moved to a coastal Ecuador fishing village. My goal is to share Ecuador with you, one snippet at a time. Topics include attractions, compassion, ecotourism, Ecuador products, everyday Ecuador, and flora and fauna. Please let me know what you would like to read more about!


    • Emily Bloomquist

      I thought the same, Hilary, that it was like with the bull. After watching Cria, I believe it is. Once I return with red on, I will be sure to post an update. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting!

  • Arti Jain

    So, so beautifully told–this love story.
    Thank you Emily for this narrative. I'm reading your post just before going to bed and I reckon I'm gonna dream about our playful cria:)
    And such a clever way to employ nature's lawn mowers–no noise, no racket and they get fed in the bargain.
    I also wanted to thank you for nominating me for the Liebster award. I feel honoured dear fellow blogger.
    I tried looking for you mail id to write to you but can't find it on your blog. Am I missing something? Could you please send me your mail id.
    Cheers and enjoy a beautiful Sunday.

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