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Posted 2/20/2006

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Llama Joins Sky Diving Team

for years llamas have wanted to test the limits of their physical capacity.  Now they can also fly. Lima, Peru-- In a country famous for breeding and raising llamas and alpacas, the unexpected has happened, a llama has joined a local sky diving club. The llama is 4 year old Ingrid who joined the club at the insistence of her owner 54 year Edgar Bolivar Diaz.

Mr. Diaz told reporters, "I have two passions in my life. One is raising pedigree llamas. The other is sky diving. One day last summer it hit me, why not combine my two great loves, llamas and sky diving."

According to Mr. Diaz’ story soon after that event Ingrid began her training and preparation for a solo jump from 7,000 feet. Mr. Diaz, an eccentric local millionaire, financed the endeavor with his family fortune, which started with his great grandfather’s success in the guano trade in the 1860’s.

"Do I feel weird spending my money this way?" Mr. Diaz retorted. "Of course I do not. The money originated from the sale of piles of bird excrement. That is a pretty ridiculous way to make a fortune. So, in my opinion, it is perfectly reasonable for me to spend this fortune teaching llamas to fly."

According to workers at his hacienda in the Peruvian highlands, Ingrid the llama ate a special, high-protein diet and slept in an altitude simulating stall for eight months leading up to the leap.

"Llamas are naturally adapted to function well at high altitudes. Sky diving seems like a logical extension of that evolutionary adaptation," said one University Expert hired by Diaz to monitor the project.

At a press conference over the weekend officials on hand from the International Federation for Sky Diving formally ratified this as the first ever successful solo jump by a llama, or by any member of the Camelidae family, for that matter.

That announcement immediately piqued the curiosity of one savvy reporter who asked the follow up question, "I noticed the wording of your announcement included the words ‘successful solo jump,’ Are you implying that other llamas have been killed in unsuccessful solo jump attempts?"

The Federation did not respond to this question and refused to comment further.

In a related story, the Guinness Book of World Records is reviewing this event. They may also formally recognize this as the first ever successful solo jump by a llama. An announcement could come as early as next month.

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