In Buddhism, a lama is a spiritual leader or teacher. The most famous lama in the world is the Dalai Lama.
Some lamas, like the Dalai Lama, the highest spiritual leader in one school of Tibetan Buddhism, are born into their status. In fact, each Dalai Lama is believed to be a reincarnation of the previous Dalai Lama. Most lamas earn the title through a lifetime of teaching and spiritual work. The Tibetan root is blama, "high priest" or "guru." And while you might argue that a large, four-legged animal can be enlightened, don't confuse lama with llama.