Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spanky the Llam (With Video!)

BLUM, Texas - James Steele knew llamas were ornery, but he never expected "Spanky" to attack him.
"I knew they'd spit on you, run into on their back legs and knock you down," said the 59-year-old Hill County resident, "but I'd never had one physically try to hurt me, bite me. That sucker did hurt me."
Steele has the physical proof: he's on crutches now, with 700 stitches embroidering his right lower leg.
Last week he and a friend were in a field near his home in the town of Blum, about 90 miles southwest of Dallas.
They were checking on his goats when a neighbor's llama got in the way. Steele tried to shoo away the normally gentle 8-foot-tall animal.
He figures his actions caused the creature to snap.
"He was on them hind legs, had them front legs up and he hit me and knocked me down, and after that the lights kinda went out," Steele remembered.
"They say he grabbed me by the leg and shook me and throwed me about ten feet."
Friend Terry Flowers saw what was happening and found the first weapon he could to help.
"I grabbed that pipe and jumped the fence and just started hittin' on him just to get him off of him," said Flowers.
The llama's owner ended up shooting and killing the animal. Rabies tests came back negative.
The attack was especially dangerous for Steele, who is on blood thinner medication and is awaiting a heart transplant.
The animal's behavior is puzzling to everyone.
"Their grandchildren rode on this llama. Why do you think this would do that?" said Robbie Steele, the victim's wife. "I don't know if it just didn't like him, or if it was having a bad day."

Bad Day?  You fuckin betcha!

Sure sign of things to come folks.  Llamas on the hunt ... From Wikipedia:
Llamas which are well-socialized and trained to halter and lead after weaning are very friendly and pleasant to be around. They are extremely curious and most will approach people easily. However, llamas that are bottle-fed or over-socialised and over-handled as youngsters will become extremely difficult to handle when mature, when they will begin to treat humans as they treat each other, which is characterized by bouts of spitting, kicking and neck wrestling. Anyone having to bottle-feed a cria should keep contact to a minimum and stop as soon as possible.
When correctly reared spitting at a human is a rare thing. Llamas are very social herd animals, however, and do sometimes spit at each other as a way of disciplining lower-ranked llamas in the herd. A llama's social rank in a herd is never static. They can always move up or down in the social ladder by picking small fights. This is usually done between males to see who becomes alpha. Their fights are visually dramatic with spitting, ramming each other with their chests, neck wrestling and kicking, mainly to knock the other off balance. The females are usually only seen spitting as a means of controlling other herd members.

Essentially, the Llama basically thought 'I'm yo alpha male bitch' and tried to end this guy ... and probably would have succeeded if not for the 12 guage.

Beware the petting zoos folks ...

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