When Americans/ think of where coyotes/ live, they probably/ think of desert states/ in the Southwest/ like Arizona. But over time, these wild dogs/ have spread all the way/ to the East Coast.
Some farmers/ have guards/ to protect their sheep/ from coyotes. These guards/ are llamas. Llamas/ are South American animals/ usually raised/ in the United States/ for their fiber/ or for show/ or as pets.
But farmers and ranchers noticed/ that llamas/ get along well/ with sheep. They also noticed/ that over time, coyotes/ were killing fewer sheep. So they chose llamas/ for guard duty.
Llamas/ do not need any training. Farmers/ usually place only one/ with a group of sheep. Llamas/ are social animals. Two llamas together/ will not pay attention/ to the sheep. A lone llama/ has no choice.
In the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, farmer Leo Tammi/ has several hundred sheep. His dogs/ help him/ control and protect/ the flock of sheep. But the dogs/ are not always available. So he uses llamas.
Whenever anything/ enters the fields, they know/ about it. He says/ their natural interest, and willingness/ to face almost anything/ that comes near, is enough/ to scare away/ a shy animal/ like a coyote.
Their size/ also helps. Llamas/ can weigh/ as much as one hundred thirty-six kilograms. And they look/ something/ like a small horse -- a funny looking horse/ with a lot of fine, soft fur.
Llamas/ are not vicious animals. However, if they are not around people/ at a very young age, they will not like/ to be touched. In many ways/ a llama/ is just as defenseless/ as a sheep. But llamas/ have a secret weapon. They spit.
When they get angry, they spit out the contents/ of their stomachs. The result/ looks and smells/ terrible.
Llamas/ really know how to make a statement. In fact, you can find examples of llama sounds/ on the Internet -- just remember/ that llama/ is spelled with two Ls, L-L-A-M-A. If they sense a threat, they make an alarm sound. This is what a male/ sounds like: (SOUND)
And this/ is a female alarm call. (SOUND)
Llamas/ are New World camelids/ along with alpacas, vicunas and guanacos. Camelids/ are a family of animals/ that also include the camels and dromedaries/ of Africa and Asia.