Mystery of the missing llamas
Animals pull wool over new carers' eyes
THE 'llama drama' goes on. First the intrepid animals escaped on to a busy motorway. Last night it emerged they have gone missing again -- this time from a council animal pound.
Incredibly, just 24 hours after demanding over €5,000 from a circus for the return of the llamas, South Dublin County Council has admitted five of the animals have vanished from its care.
Gardai were last night hunting for clues to the disappearance of the beasts that caused chaos on Thursday afternoon after they swarmed onto the M50 in Dublin.
Council officials rounded them up and took them to a pound and told Sydney Circus owner Alexander Scholl he would have to pay €5,550 to get them back.
But yesterday Mr Scholl was told five of his llamas -- and three of his goats -- have now vanished from the council's care at a contractor-run pound in Summerhill, Co Meath.
"I want my llamas back," he said last night.
The animals originally left the Sydney Circus compound on Greenhills Road in Tallaght, south Dublin. They were found more than two kilometres away at the Red Cow roundabout off the M50.
The animals ran past the nearby Cuckoo's Nest pub, crossing several major roads before winding up at the Ballymount junction of the M50.
The council was informed by the contractors yesterday morning that the animals were missing from the pound and the gardai in Summerhill were notified.
Mr Scholl said last night he found out the animals were missing from his solicitor, who had been contacted by a staff member of South Dublin County Council.
The opening night of the circus went ahead last night despite the llamas' absence.
"They're a big miss in the show. The show will go ahead without them. The show has to go on but they are one of the highlights for the people," Mr Scholl said.
"Someone might be playing around and maybe they hid them somewhere. I just hope somebody will give me information on where they are. I didn't sleep last night with worry," Mr Scholl said.
The owner said he had offered the council €1,000 to get the llamas back before they went missing.
Mr Scholl said well-trained llamas, like his, were worth between €2,500 to €3,000 each.
"It's not about the money, I just want the llamas.
"The council is responsible for this now. They took them away," he said.
A spokesman from South Dublin County Council said the animals were "rounded up and impounded" in order to avert a "potentially serious incident on the motorway and in the interests of public safety".