COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A lone llama wandering near the summit of Pikes Peak for a month has been captured and is heading to a new home.
Tracy Ducharme and Mike Shealy, both of Black Forest, Colo., trekked up the 14,110-foot mountain Friday to find the little white beast of burden.
They took two llamas with them, hoping Homer's herd instincts would lure him to them. The two split up and Ducharme spotted the llama, which bounded after her llama, Dancer. She then slipped a rope around his neck.
"I dubbed him 'Homer' because of his little odyssey," she said, referring to the classic Greek novel "Odyssey" by the poet Homer.
Ducharme said the llama might lose its ears to frostbite, but is otherwise fine.
"He's going home," said Ducharme, adding that she doesn't expect to have any trouble finding him a permanent home.
The Southwest Llama Rescue group coordinated efforts to capture Homer before he fell prey to mountain lions, coyotes or the coming winter. The group says llamas are domesticated animals and don't have the instincts to survive in the wild.
Rescuers speculate that the llama might have escaped from a stock trailer on the plains below or from hikers who were using it as a pack animal. But no one has reporting a missing llama.
Riders on a cog railway on the mountain first reported seeing the llama about a month ago. It roamed the mountain's south slope, living off alpine vegetation and trying to unsuccessfully to make friends with a herd of bighorn sheep.