the arrival of what may have been the very first import of llamas into
the United Kingdom, this is undoubtedly one of the most
important items in our lamarabilia collection...
Front cover illustration
Click image for enlargement
The Illustrated London News
of Llamas just imported from Peru
The article text:-
"On the preceding
page we have given an Engraving of the Flock of Llamas imported by Mr.
Benjamin Whitehead Gee direct from Peru. They are all of excellent
health and condition and of ages from three weeks to three years. There
are twenty three females.
The introduction of this flock has been attended with some
risk and misfortune. They started from Peru overland to Guaquil, thence
to Panama across the Isthmus to Aspinwall, and travelled on foot nearly
4000 miles. The principal mortality occurred on the Isthmus where from
want of food, hot weather, snakes, scorpions &c, some twenty of them
died. From Aspinwall to Baltimore they were shipped in a small vessel,
and from exposure, two of the lambs died, but since their arrival in New
York they have thrived and are now all in good condition. On the passage
to Glasgow there was one added to the flock.
The llamas stand the change of weather much better than was
anticipated and appear to be easily wintered..
The whole of this flock, even to a lamb five months old,
are broken to halter, and are very docile and tractable; their
countenances exhibit marked expressions of intelligence, the eyes are
large and bright, and their sight is keen.
Before closing our remarks we cannot but express our
opinion that great credit is due to the importer of these animals for
the trouble and risk he has taken in introducing so valuable a flock of
llama. They have cost nearly £3000, and we hope that his exertions will
not go unrewarded."