A llama has had to be rescued by a digger after trampling over a fence and falling into a huge hole in the ground.

The appropriately-named llama, Diggory, ended up in what was intended to be a llama graveyard.

"When big animals die you need to dispose of them quickly," said owner Elise Atkinson, who was ready for that eventuality, though the holes she had dug were fenced off.

The fences weren't enough to keep the 18-year-old llama out.

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Danny Ireland and his crew digging a ramp for the stuck llama to get out. Photo / Horowhenua Chronicle
Danny Ireland and his crew digging a ramp for the stuck llama to get out. Photo / Horowhenua Chronicle

Atkinson's property was now home to mainly elderly llamas, although she was once a breeder and had 80 animals at one stage.

"I have been trying to wind it down for the past 14 years and now have only 18 animals left," she said.

"Winding down is not easy because you want to be sure they end up in good hands."

Digger man Danny Ireland had to come to Diggory's rescue on Saturday.

Diggory deep in the hole in the llama graveyard. Photo / Horowhenua Chronicle
Diggory deep in the hole in the llama graveyard. Photo / Horowhenua Chronicle

"He dug a big trench and then made it into a ramp for Diggory to walk out of the hole he was in."

"I was very concerned about Diggory. Thought he'd be frantic, but he took it all in his stride and showed considerable interest in Danny the diggerman's handiwork.

"At the appropriate time Diggory calmly walked out and went back to graze as if nothing had happened."

Atkinson said she did a regular head count of her animals and noticed there was one fewer than the day before, so went searching for that wandering llama, who seemed unfazed by his plight.

"I can't believe how cool he was about it all," she said.

"Danny Ireland and his crew are great with the animals. They are so careful and gentle."