Tuesday 17 July 2018

Streets calmer after llama drama

Police try to control the llamas as they dash in and out of traffic (abc15.com/AP)
Police try to control the llamas as they dash in and out of traffic (abc15.com/AP)

Two quick-footed llamas dashing in and out of traffic in an Arizona retirement community were rounded up cowboy-style by authorities, causing a stir in the streets and on social media.

A large white and a smaller black llama darting through the streets of Sun City during the lunch hour, halting cars and golf carts in the Phoenix suburb.

Their televised breakout quickly inspired a Twitter account and several hashtags including LlamasonTheLoose, llamadrama and TEAMLLAMAS.

Social media users shared running commentary and even photos of people gathered around a screen to watch the llama saga unfold.

Arizona senator John McCain and the Arizona Cardinals football team joined the fun, with Mr McCain tweeting that he was "glad that LlamaDrama 2015 has been peacefully resolved!". The Cardinals tweeted that the team "agreed to one-year deals with the llamasontheloose", promising the animals a salary in hay.

Even the North American Aerospace Defence Command tweeted: "Llama had no known connections to Isis (a name for the Islamic State terror group). Appears to have self-radicalised."

The llama saga also made actor Lorenzo Lamas a trending topic. Lamas was mentioned in more than 270 tweets in an hour, according to social analytics website Topsy. Some on Twitter joked that they heard the former Falcon Crest TV star was on the loose in Arizona.

The animals galloped along the pavement, through manicured gardens and along central reservations. The streets looked more like a rodeo arena as several people tried to lasso both llamas.

The llamas thwarted numerous attempts by Maricopa County sheriff's deputies and bystanders to round them up before they were roped into custody.

The black llama was captured first and the white one was nabbed after two men in the back of a moving pick-up truck repeatedly threw out a lasso. It took three men in all to secure the rope before both animals were escorted to a waiting horse trailer after the hour-long ordeal.

Sheriff's spokesman Brandon Jones said the llamas were returned to their owners. No criminal charges will be filed.

Press Association

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