Lost llama last seen locally lingering in Old Town | SteamboatToday.com

Lost llama last seen locally lingering in Old Town

Tornado the llama, pictured here, went missing last week in the Old Town neighborhood of Steamboat Springs. The animal is mostly white except for a brown splotch on its side.
Courtesy photo

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The search is on for a llama that broke free from a yard early Wednesday morning in the Old Town neighborhood of Steamboat Springs.

Resident Beth Banning awoke at 3 a.m. to a strange noise outside her house in the 10 block of Woods Drive. Two of her llamas had been secured on a rope that was staked into the ground. When Banning looked out the window, one of the animals, a male named Tornado, was missing. 

She immediately reported the missing llama to local authorities, Banning said. Later that morning, her friend, Kirsten Lynn, posted about the incident on social media, encouraging people to keep an eye out for the animal.

Tornado is a white-colored llama with a brown splotch on its side. The animal also should have a harness with Banning’s phone number and likely is still dragging the rope and stake to which it was secured. 

Banning owns five packing llamas that she usually keeps on her boyfriend’s ranch south of the city. She had taken two of the animals to her home closer to Steamboat to work as natural lawn mowers, helping to shorten some of the vivacious spring grass.

This is not the first time that Tornado has gone on the lam. The last time, the llama escaped from its fenced area from the rural property south of Steamboat. The animal was missing for about two days until Banning found it in the middle of a pasture a few miles from her boyfriend’s ranch.

After the long journey, Banning said the llama was easy to capture and take back home.

“I feel like he got tired and just gave up,” Banning said.

Llamas tend to be skittish animals, Banning described, and tend to avoid people. For that reason, it likely would be difficult to simply approach the stray llama in order to capture it.

“They could care less about you, really, unless you have sweet grain,” Banning said, referring to a type of grain she uses as treats.

Instead, she recommends people give her a call if they see the llama. Her number is 970-846-9425. Another approach might be to try grabbing the rope to which it is attached and using it as a leash to control the animal, Banning added.

She spent much of Wednesday driving around town looking for the llama, heading up Routt County Road 36 toward the Strawberry Park Hot Springs in case the animal sought out the grassy, open fields along the road. 

Anyone with information about the llama also may contact local animal control by calling non-emergency dispatch at 970-879-1144.  

To reach Derek Maiolo, call 970-871-4247, email dmaiolo@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @derek_maiolo.

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