Llama Attack Ends in 700 Stitches

November 17th, 2009 by

BLUM, Texas (myfoxdfw) – James Steele knew llamas were ornery, but he never expected “Spanky” to attack him.

“I knew they’d spit on you, run into on their back legs and knock you down,” said the 59-year-old Hill County resident, “but I’d never had one physically try to hurt me, bite me. That sucker did hurt me.”

Steele has the physical proof: he’s on crutches now, with 700 stitches embroidering his right lower leg.

Last week he and a friend were in a field near his home in the town of Blum, about 90 miles southwest of Dallas.

They were checking on his goats when a neighbor’s llama got in the way. Steele tried to shoo away the normally gentle 8-foot-tall animal.

He figures his actions caused the creature to snap.

“He was on them hind legs, had them front legs up and he hit me and knocked me down, and after that the lights kinda went out,” Steele remembered.

“They say he grabbed me by the leg and shook me and throwed me about ten feet.”

Friend Terry Flowers saw what was happening and found the first weapon he could to help.

“I grabbed that pipe and jumped the fence and just started hittin’ on him just to get him off of him,” said Flowers.

The llama’s owner ended up shooting and killing the animal. Rabies tests came back negative.

The attack was especially dangerous for Steele, who is on blood thinner medication and is awaiting a heart transplant.

The animal’s behavior is puzzling to everyone.

“Their grandchildren rode on this llama. Why do you think this would do that?” said Robbie Steele, the victim’s wife. “I don’t know if it just didn’t like him, or if it was having a bad day.”

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