Famous Rescued Yellowstone Llama needs surgery!
Ike the llama was abandoned in Yellowstone National Park in summer of 2018 by his previous owners after he removed himself from his halter that pressed on a wound on his jaw and ran. Ike roamed the wilds of the park for 3 months and did not allow anyone to recapture him. I (Susi, owner of Yellowstone Llamas, a llama trekking company) and my rescue group (consisting of 3 human friends and 3 llamas) went out in search of Ike in late October.
Timing was key in the rescue because the snow was about to fly and the roads would soon be closed. Ike would not survive the harsh Yellowstone winter. We found Ike at Lewis Lake in Yellowstone sunning himself by the shore. We hiked about a mile in his direction hoping to convince him to come with us. Ike came running when he saw the other llamas. He followed us out, unhaltered and unrestrained and completely of his own free will, for over a mile. He promptly jumped into the trailer and went home with us.
I promised him that this was his forever home and I would not let him go back to uncaring people. Ike was renamed “Lewis” after Lewis Lake where he was found. He adjusted well and has enjoyed his new llama buddies. Despite Lewis’ jaw wound being treated repeatedly with veterinary care and TLC, x-rays finally showed that the cause is an old injury: a fractured tooth root in the very back of his mouth, with puss draining to the outside through a hole in his jaw. It apparently had been festering for quite a while. Possibly he was kicked in the face by one of his previous rather raucous llama pack buddies.
Lewis now needs a specialist to remove the tooth surgically. He cannot go packing in Yellowstone unless he is all healthy again. His projected surgery and care surpass my financial resources and budget for sixteen llamas. However, I want to keep my promise to Lewis to take care of him. Lewis was quite famous on social media and newspapers around the country. I hope his friends out there who followed his story at the time as well as new friends who learn about it now, might help him have the necessary surgery and go packing in Yellowstone again!
The surgery would be performed at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO by s surgeon specializing in dental work on camelids. Lewis would stay s few nights at the vet hospital and I would stay nearby. Distance round-trip to Fort Collins is about 500 miles.
Please donate to Lewis who was abandoned by his rude handlers. After 3 months in the wild, he recognized people with compassion and decided to come home with us. Lewis is gentle and funny and he looks forward to hike the trails of Yellowstone again without pain.
Thank you!! Lewis & Susi