How to Greet a Llama



how would you say hello to them?

If you wave your hand, he’s likely to think you have a treat. If there’s no treat, the llama will walk away. So how can you engage a llama and make friends with him? Breathe into his mouth!

How to greet a llama from The Llamas of ShangriLlama. Copyright All rights reserved.

That was not a misprint. The official llama greeting is mouth-blowing. Mama Llama is not suggesting that you pretend to blow out a candle in the direction of the llama. No, it’s more dramatic than that! Inhale, and then share your worst morning breath with the llama. That’s right: blow from the gut toward the llama’s mouth.


Guess what will happen? It won’t spit on you; no worries! A friendly llama that is interested in you will come right up to your mouth to smell your breath. That’s how he can learn more about you and remember who you are next time. Dogs share information with body smells, too. But they do so by sniffing the rear end of other animals. Isn’t it more polite to share scents from the mouth?

If you are brave enough to stand still while the llama is enjoying your morning breath, then you just might be brave enough for the second half of the llama greeting. To prepare for the exchange, you will see the llama’s nostrils flare. That’s because llamas breathe through their nose, rather than from their mouth. Following inhalation, the llama will blow air into your mouth! Admittedly, this experience with an animal is daunting the first time. But it makes for a memorable moment.

So go ahead: breathe into the mouth of the next friendly llama you meet. If that llama finds you intriguing, then he’ll reciprocate. And he’ll remember who you are–forever!



Happy Trails from Mama Llama!

P.S. Mama Llama does not recommend you try this at a barnyard zoo or a petting zoo, unless the zoo keeper assures you that the llamas are socialized. Not every llama is friendly.

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