Lone llama rescued after month on Pikes Peak

Oct 03, 2009
In this Sept. 20, 2009 photo provided by Southwest Llama Rescue a llama walks near the cog railway tracks near the summit of Pike's Peak near Colorado Springs, Colo. Southwest Llama Rescue is coordinating efforts to capture the llama before it falls prey to mountain lions, coyotes or the coming winter. (AP Photo/Southwest Llama Rescue, Rachel Javorsek)

(AP) -- A lone llama wandering near the summit of Pikes Peak for a month has been captured and is heading to a new home.

Tracy Ducharme and Mike Shealy, both of Black Forest, Colo., trekked up the 14,110-foot mountain Friday to find the little white beast of burden.

They took two llamas with them, hoping Homer's herd instincts would lure him to them. The two split up and Ducharme spotted the llama, which bounded after her llama, Dancer. She then slipped a rope around his neck.

"I dubbed him 'Homer' because of his little odyssey," she said, referring to the classic Greek novel "Odyssey" by the poet Homer.

Ducharme said the llama might lose its ears to frostbite, but is otherwise fine.

"He's going home," said Ducharme, adding that she doesn't expect to have any trouble finding him a permanent home.

The Southwest Llama Rescue group coordinated efforts to capture Homer before he fell prey to mountain lions, coyotes or the coming winter. The group says llamas are domesticated animals and don't have the instincts to survive in the wild.

Rescuers speculate that the llama might have escaped from a stock trailer on the plains below or from hikers who were using it as a pack animal. But no one has reporting a missing llama.

Riders on a cog railway on the mountain first reported seeing the llama about a month ago. It roamed the mountain's south slope, living off alpine vegetation and trying to unsuccessfully to make friends with a herd of bighorn sheep.

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User comments : 3

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ruebi
not rated yet Oct 03, 2009
"It roamed the mountain's south slope, living off alpine vegetation and trying to unsuccessfully to make friends with a herd of bighorn sheep."

i hope the wolves and mountain lions dont starve.
Crossrip
not rated yet Oct 04, 2009
Too bad humans are always interfering with natural selection.
zevkirsh
not rated yet Oct 04, 2009
"she doesn't expect to have any trouble finding him a permanent home". ....for the right price of course. this white llama must be worth quite a penny.