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Swiss joggers frighten baby llama to death

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File photo: EMILY WABITSCH / DPA / AFP
12:57 CET+01:00
A four-month-old llama at an animal park in northern Switzerland has been put down because of injuries sustained when it was startled by a group of joggers.

Kleopatra, born on January 4 in the Weihermätteli animal park in the town of Liestal, was put to sleep after failing to recover from injuries she sustained after slamming into a fence post.

“It was brutal,” park director Christian Klaus told regional daily the Basellandschaftliche Zeitung, describing Kleopatra as a “loving” and “trusting” animal.

“I was hoping she would have recovered by the next morning. But sadly that was not the case.”

The young llama injured herself after a group of nine joggers, some equipped with headlamps, ran along a narrow, unlit path in a section of the municipal park near the llama enclosure on the evening of February 1st.

Llamas do not generally flee from danger, but Kleopatra panicked at the loud noise and charged. She crashed into a fence post and the impact on her neck was so great that a cervical vertebra was broken. She was subsequently unable to move.

The joggers, who heard the accident and informed security staff at the nearby psychiatric clinic of what had happened, will not face any consequences.

“It is not forbidden to run through the park. I think they have a very guilty conscience,” said Klaus, adding he appreciated the fact they had notified people of the incident.

Local officials said it was not possible to close the park at night as the public had free access to the area. However, bike riding in the park is strictly forbidden with police able to enforce fines.

 

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