TWO SUBJECTS (April2012)
Mother and Cria
When I heard about an animal by the name of alpaca from a colleague at work, I immediately got curious. I surely haven’t seen one in my whole life (not in the Philippines where I came from) for the apparent reason: it is said that alpacas are kept in herds that graze on grass in high elevations in the Andres Mountains in Southern Peru, northern Bolivia, Ecuador, and northern Chile. Thus, after showing interest to see one, I was invited to visit an alpaca farm by my buddy. Just forty-five minutes away from home, we drove to a suburb of Tampa, in a beautiful rural setting. It was a real farm atmosphere. The vast amount of land was reserved mostly for farm animals in herds grazing on grass, and or happily chasing one another. I felt I was transported to a different time and space. Definitely, a great escape from traffic jams and the crowded city of Tampa.
From the many pictures I took at the farm, one of my favorites is the mother and cria (baby alpaca) contentedly sitting next to each other. Obviously there is no communication going on between the two, but their body language clearly suggests closeness and warm bonding: very serene! I thought it is very interesting especially after learning that in the world of alpacas the role of male stud is simply to share his genes and good breeding for the proliferation of his specie. There is no such thing as a relationship. After breeding, the male alpaca shares no sense of responsibility for his little ones. This, however, doesn’t apply for female alpacas. To the female specie of my new found friends from South America, motherly instincts remain very prominent. They are said to be very protective of their babies and will stay with them until weaning at 5 to 6 months of age. In a way, this reminded me of “mother’s love” which is always known for compassion, unselfishness, protection, and endurance.
* This picture, I dedicate to my mother whom I’ve just spoken long distance last night.