Rescue Journal

What's with Martin?

Jean  ·  Oct. 30, 2006

Any alpaca people reading this blog? I either have a beserk alpaca or Martin has developed an evil sense of humour.

For the past six weeks, Charley and Isaac and I have walked the back pasture where Martin resides (about four long narrow acres) once or twice every day - Charley off leash and Isaac on a long lead. Occasionally Martin has casually followed us about 10 - 20 feet behind, and stopped and watched us when we sit at the top of the hill to stare at the view. But there's certainly never been any problem at all.

Today, as Isaac and I were sitting and Charley was exploring, Martin came thundering from the middle of the pasture all the way up the hill, straight towards us. Thank goodness my dogs are not reactive - they just calmly looked at him like he was slightly insane and he veered off a few feet away. Then as we started to walk back down, he tore towards Isaac and scared the cr*p out of me - again veering away just in time. We continued and next thing I know, Martin is thundering down immediately behind me - I whipped around as he was inches from me and yelled at him and he just wiggled his rump and tossed up his heels and backed off a foot. I "think" he was figuratively sticking his tongue out at me. :)

He did this twice more, until we were well back down the path towards the house. Then he just stood and watched us.

If he's not beserk (and I read that alpaca's don't get beserk llama syndrome or its equivalent), then he either was trying to tell me something or he wanted to play. I was wearing a heavy jacket so looked bigger than usual, but I talked to him when we first went passed him, so he knew it was me before he ever began charging.

The only other thing I noticed is that there was some fresh unidentifable scat on the trail - not bear or alapca or dog. I don't think it was coyote, as it didn't have hair in it. Maybe cougar? It looked almost like it had llama-tex in it, so maybe it had eaten Martin's food. Martin didn't let out any alarm sounds like he has when I've started to enter the pasture while the bear is there, but he might have been herding us back because of some animal intruder who had passed through recently and moved off into the bush behind where we were sitting.

Later, I went back out without the dogs and Martin followed me back to the barn for his food as usual - no charging, no games.

Any ideas? I really don't want Carol to find me trampled to death by an alpaca next time she comes over.