Diggory, the middle-aged llama (18), went for a wander around his paddock on the weekend and enjoying the nice weather so he decided to go further . . . much further.

He came across the fenced-off yard, but the fence didn't look too sturdy, so he ignored it . . . only to meet his match in a giant hole in the ground. Hence the need for a fence, Diggory.

Diggory lives on a property in Levin that caters for retired llamas. Owner Elise Atkinson was once a breeder of llamas and had at least 80 animals on her property at one stage.

Danny Ireland, the diggerman prepares an escape route for Diggory the llama, who fell into a hole.
Danny Ireland, the diggerman prepares an escape route for Diggory the llama, who fell into a hole.

"I have been trying to wind it down for the past 14 years and now have only 18 animals left. Winding down is not easy because you want to be sure they end up in good hands," she said.
Diggory probably didn't know he had wandered into a llama graveyard.

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"When big animals die you need to dispose of them quickly," said Ms Atkinson, so she's ready for that eventuality, though the holes she had dug were properly fenced off.

Digger man Danny Ireland had to come to her rescue on Saturday.

"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."

Ms Atkinson said she does a regular head count of her animals and noticed there was one fewer than the day before, so went searching for that wandering llama.

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

"Danny Ireland and his crew are great with the animals.