Clark County’s cherished camelid companion Rojo the Llama died of natural causes at 8 a.m. Wednesday, clip-clopping across the rainbow bridge from his veterinarian’s office at Oregon State University before he was scheduled to be euthanized.
The ginger giant had served 12 years as a therapy animal, visiting schools, community events, adult care centers and more, often adorned in elaborate and festive outfits. He’d been registered through the DoveLewis Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Hospital.
Rojo retired with great fanfare late last month. But his life of leisure wouldn’t last. According to his dedicated Facebook page, Rojo’s health took a turn for the worse last week. A visit to his vet found that the 17-year-old lovable llama might have some hereditary problems, including cancer, that would explain his steep decline.
The typical lifespan for a llama in captivity is 15 to 25 years.
Rojo’s legacy will live on at the Washington State School for the Blind Sensory Safari. The room features taxidermy displays of exotic animals, including an African lion posed as though taking down its prey, a sable antelope. Visually impaired students and visitors are encouraged to touch the animals, giving them an opportunity to experience the wildlife through their other senses.
Rojo’s handlers say they’ve been in talks with the school for years to offer the llama a place in the safari.