Orana staff mourn the loss of elderly llama, Roldo

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Feb 02, 2023 |

Photo: Orana Wildlife Park

Orana Wildlife Park’s veterinary and animal management team made the agonising decision to euthanase their elderly llama, Roldo, yesterday due to age-related illness.

Sadly, Roldo’s condition deteriorated rapidly over the past few days.

Roldo has been a much-loved member of the animal family, especially in the farmyard, since he arrived more than 23 years ago. 

“He has been an incredible ambassador for the Park due to his fantastic temperament,” a spokesman said.

Thousands of children have patted and brushed him and had the chance to meet him during Zoo School programmes.

Photo: Orana Wildlife Park

“In his younger years, some of our wonderful volunteers would walk him around the Park daily to meet visitors; he’s said hello to people on our safari shuttle, delighted visitors waiting in the queue to enter the Park and visited staff in the office.

Some members of our team recall meeting Roldo when they visited Orana as a child and have been delighted to have the chance to work with him.”

Photo: Orana Wildlife Park

 Orana’s CEO Lynn Anderson recalls purchasing 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.

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”, concludes Lynn.”

 “Roldo will be greatly missed by our team, who considered it a privilege to work with such a beautiful and amazing animal.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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