So Walker’s passing is sad, but it is also the end of an era here as he will likely be our last llama.
My first llama as Swirl. I purchased her at 12 years of age from Whidbey Island along with my all time favorite sheep Babette. She was a great guard llama when I lived in the woods on Lily Lake Road. Despite only using electric net fencing, I never had a predator lose there.
She moved to our new farm in August 2002 and guarded here until she died of old age in 2007. I still have a sweater I made from her wool.
I bought Tudor in August 2001 from Hollybrook Llama Ranch near Lake McMurray. He was a guard llama but also had an amazing red fleece. He moved to our new farm in September 2002.
One of his claims to fame is that he kicked me hard to the point I had to miss work for a while. So he taught me an important lesson in farm safety. He died of an apparent intestinal obstruction in 2006. I still have a sweater made from him and our beagle Rocky does too. Plus he is in my March of Fibres sweater.
We bought Fancy in 2006 at 6 years old from Ellensburg.
She developed a squamous cell carcinoma in his eyelid in 2010 and struggled with that until she died of old age in 2017 of old age. Here is her demonstrating what an upset llama sounds like from 2013.
We bought Winnona at the same time we bought Fancy. She was 12 when we got her.
She only lived with us 2 years when she suddenly died for unclear reasons while we were out of town in 2008.
We bought three pack llamas in November 2009 near Snohomish: Chance, Oreo and Walker.
Chance was 12 when he got him. He only lived with us less than 6 months when he died of an apparent intestinal obstruction.
Oreo was also 12 years old when we got him.
We had bought these three llamas to pack with. So after practicing we took Oreo and Walker on a hike in August 2010. This was a complete failure, and we never tried to pack with them again. He lived with us less than 3 years when he died in 2012.
And finally there was Walker.
He lived a long life with us and never cause us any trouble although sometimes he annoyed the sheep. I will never forget him herd up the sheep and guarding them against a police helicopter hovering low over our field. He was so brave, but unfortunately I did not get a photo of it. But we had to say goodbye to him too last month.
So this will likely be our last llama. We never had a loss of livestock to predators, but we do not know how much the llamas played into that. There seem to be more predators now with regular spottings of bears and cougars in our area and now wolves in the county. So we shall see what happens without llamas here.