• Last modified 744 days ago (Sept. 5, 2018)


Baby llama headed to Hutch zoo

Staff writer

Sherry Nelson of Stardust Sheep Farm was surprised recently when one of her black llamas produced a rare silver leopard cria.

“I just thought God gave me a gift,” she said. “I had seen one or two leopards before, but he was just beautiful.”

She knew she had to sell him.

A sale barn manager who deals in exotic animals said the baby llama, with white fur and black spots, was valuable.

After she posted a photo of the baby on social media, she received calls from petting zoos in Oklahoma, Kansas City, and Hutchinson.

“I can’t sell him to just anybody,” Nelson realized.

She talked to the interested parties, looked into their backgrounds online, and decided to offer the llama to the Hutchinson Zoo.

After coming to look at the cria, zookeepers bought him. They plan to get him in a month. The mother will go along until the baby is weaned.

“They wrote on the check, ‘Payment on a cutie llama,” Nelson said.

Her granddaughter was concerned that the cria needed to have a name.

“Grandma, we’re going to have to name him,” she said.

“But he’s not our llama,” Nelson told her. “The zoo will have to name him.”

“I think they should name him Prince,” the little girl said.

“We will suggest it, and we can go and visit him when he’s older,”
Nelson replied.

She plans to release him and his mother into a pen by the road, so the neighbors can enjoy him for a while. Stardust Sheep Farm is a mile east of US-56/77 on 250th Rd.

“I think it’s wonderful that the zoo will have him,” Nelson said. “So many people will be able to enjoy him.”

Last modified Sept. 5, 2018