The Running of the Llamas
In 2015, when someone G-chats you to ask, “Watching the llama cam?” you might think little of it. You might even roll your eyes—twenty-four-hour live-streams of puppies or zoo animals are old news, and llamas, you might think, are not especially compelling. They just sort of stand there, chewing their cud and giving onlookers the side eye. The most exciting thing about them is the threat of loogies being hawked if you get too close. But when your G-chat correspondent follows up with “two llamas on the loose,” your interest is piqued. You click on a link to the Web site of an ABC affiliate in Phoenix, Arizona.’
It’s hard to describe the particular thrill of watching, live, the two llamas who were chased down a desert highway today, for the better part of two hours, by law-enforcement officers and concerned citizens. The obvious comparison was to O. J. Simpson in his white Bronco; “Bonnie and Clyde” meets “Homeward Bound” also came to mind. The llamas, a mother and her baby, had been a visiting attraction at an assisted-living facility for seniors in Sun City, outside of Phoenix, earlier in the day. The details are fuzzy, but somehow, as their handlers loaded them into a trailer to head home to the llama farm, they made a break for it. It wasn’t long before they were traversing major thoroughfares, often against traffic, followed closely by a news helicopter above and a gaggle of would-be captors on the ground.