PORTLAND, Ore — A beloved Portland icon died on Wednesday morning. He was seventeen years old.
Rojo the therapy llama, who had become a staple of the Portland community, had a retirement at Pioneer Courthouse Square on Oct. 27.
But Rojo had been dealing with health issues. Rojo had hereditary conditions that led to a decline in his health, according to a post on the llama’s Facebook page.
“He's been a part of the family and as he became a therapy animal that bond deepened we saw that on the lives he was touching,” said Lori Gregory who runs Mtn Peaks Therapy Llamas and Alpacas.
Gregory said she bought Rojo for her daughter when he was just a couple of months old.
He died at 7:55 a.m. Wednesday "on his own accord," his owner said. "No anesthesia was necessary and he was made comfortable in his final hours."
Rojo’s legacy will live on at the Washington State School for the Blind’s wildlife safari room in Vancouver. His owners plan to take him to a taxidermist.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help with the cost of Rojo’s vet bills and the cost of the taxidermist.
"Thank you for coming along on the joyful, heartwrenching, emotional ride that is all Rojo with us. He is so magical that even in death he has to steal the show. You will be missed my llove," the Facebook post said.
The Facebook post, and accordingly an earlier version of this story, said that Rojo would be euthanized Wednesday. But he died of natural causes.