World’s oldest llama celebrates 27th birthday as it eyes new Guinness record

The owners of the world’s oldest llama have applied to have his record certified by Guinness World Records and celebrated his birthday with a party as he turned 27 over the weekend.

The Strait family of Albuquerque, New Mexico, say that Dalai the llama has far outlived his species’ typical life expectancy of 15-20 years.

Andrew Thomas and Kee Straits have put an application to Guinness World Records, asking it to certify the momentous age of the one-eyed llama.

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This move could cause a bit of llama drama, as a successful certification would knock Rapper, a llama from Olympia, Washington, who was certified by Guinness to be 26 years and 258 days old in 2020, off the coveted top spot.

It will likely be weeks or even months before Guinness World Records is able to come to a definite conclusion.

The family told local media that they have to provide Guinness World Records with a “birth certificate” for Dalai.

The Straits threw the llama a birthday party over the weekend, inviting several guests including Dalai's best friend, Gelato, a Nigerian dwarf goat.

Thomas said the pair are so close that they sleep together, adding that Gelato cries when Dalai leaves the pen.

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Dalai has been a part of the Strait family since 2007, meaning he has been with them for longer than the Strait’s 13-year-old daughter, Sami, has.

Sami grew up riding on Dalai's back and says she still has a soft spot for the llama.

“He was so proud when he put on the saddle,” she told local media.

The young girl added that she wants to be a vet one day.

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The family, who also own several more animals including guinea pigs, Navajo churro sheep and chickens, said their love of animals comes from their heritage.

Kee Straits is Peruvian and Quechua while Thomas is Navajo.

“In Peru, our llamas are part of our ceremonies, and we celebrate them … they're a livelihood”.

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