Liam was discovered in the northern New Mexico mountains of Mora County in 2006 wandering alone with no owner to be found. He paced the ridge above a weaver's pen for a couple days, then jumped a very tall fence to get close to the two lady llamas enclosed. Our hero Pat Little was called, and the wheels set in motion.
He was loaded in Mora and transferred to a trailer near Santa Fe, spent one night at our place, then delivered to Pat for her attention and care. Once our fence was completed in 2007, he returned to us joined by his young herd mates (two sweet "outlaw" llamas from Catron County). Liam's presence was calm and confident, soon earning him an alias "The Dude."
He enjoyed life on Rabbithead Ranch near Cerrillos. Two other rescued llamas joined the pack, and our land was alive with llamas, chickens, goats, dogs, kids and cats. His composure made him a tremendous outreach animal. The Dude went on more than one school visit, marched in a parade and always a favorite on hikes with the llamas.
Liam came to us with a small patch of skin irritation below his right eye. We tested with no conclusions of the cause nor successful results in various treatments. The condition spread but overall quality of life remained healthy. In September 2013, his well-being suddenly failed and, within three days, was despondent and euthanized.
The NM Dept of Agriculture Veterinary Diagnostics Services determined the condition to be a degenerative infection of the skin which spread to his lymph nodes and finally his brain, which caused the rapid decline. The vet stated this is not commonly seen in any species, and no previous report could be found of a llama with the condition.
We are honored to have been part of his world. With heartfelt thanks to Southwest Llama Rescue and all the heroes who connect good llamas with good homes. Liam was certainly one of the good ones, but then they all are.