A HUGE thank you to everyone who helped with this project! Also a big thank-you to blogs like Fuglyblog and Snarkyrider, which have encouraged me not to sit on my butt when I know about neglect. The llama is now home, safe and sound. Picking him up early this morning was mercifully uneventful. He even unloaded wonderfully. He's still reluctant to be touched, but will allow it for a little while. He is EXTREMELY excited by other animals-- and of course my horses were just out of their tiny minds with disbelief.
|"Dear God, there's a mutant deer in our barn!"|
After I locked the llama in the barn, I let the horses into the yard for breakfast. Mr. Strut immediately charged to the barn, took one look at what was inside, and spun a 180 that would have made a reining champion proud. He refused to come anywhere near the llama after that. Annie, on the other hand, stood at a distance making the "what the hell is that?!" snort and eventually felt brave enough to go up and sniff. Neither of them have met a llama before; they are totally confused.
After the horses backed off to eat breakfast, the llama became frantic; he couldn't see them anymore and paced back and forth, trying to stick his head through the gate to find them. I think he's been desperately lonely for a long time. The fact that he is not so excited by humans just proves that he's learned from experience that humans mostly suck.
The only bad thing about today was this:
Yeah. All that nice straw I put down for the llama's bedding stuck to the mat of burdocks embedded in his fur. He now looks like a walking haystack! I HAVE to do something about his coat. I just don't know what; if I shear him, he'll be cold, and trying to pry the burdocks out one by one may well be impossible-- and painful. He may just have to look ridiculous until it gets warmer.
Anyway, I checked on him throughout the day, and he seems to be eating, drinking and pooping just fine. He will not eat horse treats or sweet feed; tomorrow I'll try him on carrots and apples. My guess is that just like Annie was, he's been too neglected to even know what treats are.
Oh, and I am fascinated by his feet. Two toes with talons? They look like they belong to a fantasy creature!