Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team
Date: February 2, 2023 9:45 pm
Staff at Orana Wildlife Park bid a fond farewell to a staple of their animal family for 23 years this week, Roldo the llama. Roldo was euthanized following a decline due to age related issues.
Roldo had been a much loved member of the farmyard family at Orana Wildlife Park since he arrived 23 years ago. Here he served as an ambassador for animals and formed connections with thousands of children who patted and brushed him.
Orana’s CEO Lynn Anderson recalled the moment she purchased Roldo at a Rare Breeds Auction in 1999: “He was so well lead trained and friendly that I thought he would be a hit with Park visitors. I actually missed out on him, as the bidding went too high, so I bought another llama that was lead trained, but not as friendly. When the people who bought Roldo discovered he would be for Orana, they agreed to do a swap, as they only wanted him for breeding and they thought the llama I had bought would be just as good for their needs.”
When he was younger Roldo was a regular sight around the zoo on his walks. Guests may have encountered him on the safari shuttle, delighted visitors waiting in the queue to enter the Park or visiting staff in the office. Some staff working at Orana Wildlife Park now met Roldo during their visits to the park as youngsters.
Roldo may also have been a record setter but it could never be confirmed as Lynn explained, ”I was told on the auction day that he was five years old, so he could potentially be one of the oldest llamas in the world (the current record holder is 27 years old and verified by Guinness World Records).
”I will miss Roldo and he will always hold a special place in my heart,” finished Lynn.
The ancestors of llamas are believed to have evolved in North America. The ancestors which moved South became the llamas of today while the group which moved North became the camels. Today these two are still closely related and share a range of characteristics.
Image: Orana Wildlife Park
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