Daisy is doing well.
When the good-natured 15-year-old llama was rescued by Kensington Prairie Farm in Aldergrove on Nov. 8, an untreated tooth abscess had left one side of her face so swollen she couldn’t see out of her eye.
Kensington, which raises alpacas and llamas, was called by the BC SPCA to retrieve Daisy from what Dee Martens, Kensington’s manager, described as “deplorable” conditions.
“Daisy lived in a field with metre-high, dead grass and an active burn pile,” Martens related.
“Once we finally caught her, we realized how skinny and terrified she was.”
Despite being in considerable pain, Daisy was surprisingly “mild-tempered,” Martens said.
On Nov. 23, Daisy had an operation to remove what was described as a “tennis ball size” former cyst or hardened abscess from her cheek and above her jaw.
The surgeon also had to take some bone from below Daisy’s eye as it was dead from prolonged infection, but they were able to leave interior bone to prevent her eye from drooping as she ages, Martens explained.
Now, Daisy’s stitches are out and she has joined the ‘moms and babies’ herd at Kensington.
“She’s doing super well,” Martens told the Langley Advance Times on Tuesday, Dec. 29.
“She’s just a doll.”
She estimated the cost of surgery at about $4,200.
Daisy was the latest llama in distress to land at Kensington Prairie Farm.
In April, at the behest of the SPCA, nine llama and five alpacas were rescued from another farm that had purchased them in order to qualify for farm status,but didn’t shear them, something that Marten said is essential.
They had such a weight of wool that they had to be tranquilized for shearing after they arrived at Kensington, Martens recalled.
Revenue from Kensington Prairie Farm admission and tours will still support a children’s charity in Peru called Quechua Benefit but in the future a portion will also be devoted to the rescue animals, Marten explained.
“We have become such an active rescue support system in the lower mainland,” she said.
Catherine Simpson and her husband started Kensington in 2000, in an area of Surrey historically known as Kensington Prairie County.
They began with a dozen alpacas, and the number quickly grew to more than 30 animals before moving to Langley in 2006, expanding Kensington Prairie Farm from five to 45 acres in the process.
In addition to breeding, raising, and showing Huacaya alpacas, Kensington also raises registered Hereford cattle and produces artisanal honey.