NewsCovering Kern County


Llama gets loose in southwest Bakersfield

Animal was uncooperative
Posted at 11:34 AM, Mar 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-02 20:47:57-05

Friday morning Bakersfield Police were lead on an unusual police chase on four legs.

A llama living in Southwest Bakersfield got free and ran out into traffic. After about two hours Lele the Llama was safely returned home.

Towards the end of the chase, Lele's owner, Sharon Duff, tried to talk Lele home. She said, "You ready girl? Ready to go home? It's going to start raining. I'm going to have to ride you."

For the last 12 years Lele the Llama has lived on Margalo Avenue in Southwest Bakersfield.

"Where else can you sit in your front yard and watch a llama the alpaca and the chickens. You know they sit over there drink their coffee and looks across here. And everybody likes it. Everybody brings them cereal, tortillas and bread," said Duff. 
But today Lele didn't stay at home. She got free after a neighboring dog opened her gate the spooked the llama. Lele then ran down the street and was later found at Costco a mile down Stine Road.

"She didn't even ask me if I wanted anything. If you're going to Costco you've got to ask me something," said Duff.

Witnesses said they helped Bakersfield Police and animal control herd her back up the street where she was later wrangled in a neighbor's front yard.

Brenda Sandoval lives in Bakersfield, saw 23 ABC's live stream and recognized where was Lele the Llama.

Sandoval said, "We just saw a llama causing drama on Facebook in my aunt's yard. So we saw the live feed and we came over to check to see if everything was okay."

After Lele the Llama was wrangled, it took over and hour to get her from her neighbor's front yard to her yard a block and a half down the street. About a dozen neighbors came to help Sharon get Lele home.

One of Lele's neighbors, Amanda Shoemaker, said, "She saw me and her ears went back. And so I said, OK it's probably not a good idea that I get that close for that long. And sure enough she tried to spit at me."

Duff added, "She's just worn out, she's just can't get up. She's just tired. You know she ran all the way to Costco and they've got all those lights and they're honking their horns and chasing her. It just scares her."

After a brief pit spot at another neighbor's yard, Lele was eventually lifted onto a trailer and driven into her yard.

"She enjoyed the ride all the way home into the yard and then she decided to stand. So in a way she knew how she was going to get home. She was just waiting for everyone else to figure that out too," said Shoemaker.

Duff told 23 ABC that she's relieved Lele is home. She said, "Llama Mama is home with her llama."

Duff said she talked with her neighbor, whose dog spooked and freed Lele, about doing a better job keeping his dog in his yard. Duff also said she made some improvements to prevent the neighbor's dog from opening Lele's gate.