A llama savaged by a black bear near Vernon last month is doing much better with some help from the Llama Sanctuary in the Shuswap.
The lucky llama, named Princess Meadow, was brought to the Llama Sanctuary by its owners David Chapman and Lynne Milsom just days after she was badly injured by a bear.
Chapman was told neighbours saw the bear running down two llamas in broad daylight. One of the Llamas was hurt so badly in the attack that it was euthanized by a veterinarian. Princess Meadow survived and Chapman said her wounds were treated with antibiotics but in the following days neighbours were concerned to see that she was not moving from one corner of her pasture. The neighbours found the llama’s wounds were badly infected and dragged her to shelter before calling Chapman and Milsom.
Chapman said he had never heard of a bear attacking a llama before, but coincidentally another one was killed by a black bear near Saanich within a few days of the attack on Princess Meadow.
Princess Meadow’s owner surrendered her to the sanctuary and her road to recovery began. Chapman said the llama’s injuries were the worst he had ever seen. Despite the severity of the wounds, Chapman said Princess Meadow is healing remarkably well, although she is still walking with a limp. He added that a breakthrough came on Nov. 6 when Princess Meadow approached and accepted carrots from visitors to the sanctuary.
Princess Meadow is one of about 40 llamas and alpacas currently housed at the Sanctuary near Chase. Chapman said that number was as high as 60 earlier this year as the sanctuary took in a large volume of animals but was able to re-home some as well.
Rescuing and caring for all the llamas and alpacas is an expensive proposition and Chapman said the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted their fundraising. The sanctuary sells yarn, fibre arts and other items online and also accepts donations from people who visit the sanctuary to see the llamas. With visits curtailed earlier this year due to the virus, fundraising dollars dried up and Chapman said they had to borrow money just to buy feed, a total expense of approximately $5,000.
Along with monetary donations to help pay back the loan for feed, Chapman said the sanctuary is hoping for a donation of some soft second-cut hay for a few llamas with tooth problems.
The sanctuary has reopened for visitors by appointment. Chapman said the sanctuary’s 55-acre property has plenty of room to roam and meet the llamas where they live. He encouraged visitors to come out and bring carrots for the llamas.
The sanctuary can be reached at 250-679-8121 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.