Llamas in the Shuswap found a new home in the nick of time.
The Llama Sanctuary rescues and rehabilitates llamas and alpacas. The sanctuary was most recently operating out of a temporary location in Vernon, after moving from its previous Shuswap home in August 2022. The location was only available to the llamas until March 31, 2023, and that deadline just passed.
On Wednesday, March 29, Llama Sanctuary owners secured a new property and had to have everything out of the old one in two days.
“We never lost hope,” said co-owner/co-founder David Chapman. “We knew there was something out there, we just kept calling different places knowing someone, somewhere would know someone that had something.”
The llamas have moved to their new home, in the middle of Mara near the lake, confirmed Chapman.
The move was a tough one, he said, with little time to organize and a strict time limit to follow.
“We are very grateful to the property owner who has been hosting the llama sanctuary until now, but the rules that were made for leaving were so complicated and extreme that it made getting away very difficult,” said Chapman.
Chapman said the sanctuary appreciates their host but said it was a very challenging day, and he and his partner Lynne Milsom finally crawled into bed around five a.m. April 1, the day after the move.
However, Chapman said he was thankful there were no injured llamas or fences jumped, as has happened before during moves.
The new property doesn’t have any fencing and the sanctuary is leasing a nearby field to keep the llamas contained until corrals can be set up. The llamas’ new home also needs shelters built, as there are no structures on the land and no water or power hooked up. The next step will be moving the rest of the equipment into place and setting up that infrastructure in the coming weeks, said Chapman.
Asked if the llamas now have a permanent home, Chapman said they still have to wait and see.
“We have to play it along and see how it goes. It was initially offered to us as temporary, and with all the work that has to go in, it’s a big investment so we have to come to some arrangement. It’s all very open at the moment, we’re seeing how we get along with each other, which is really well so far, thankfully.”
Moving forward, the sanctuary needs funding to help with the building. The last move cost around $34,000, said Chapman, and this one is estimated at nearly $26,000.
The sanctuary intends to open back up to visitors as soon as possible, and Chapman said fan favourites like Paul the llama are eager to greet guests.
Donors can sponsor a llama or directly donate to the sanctuary at llamasanctuary.com.