PORTLAND, OR – The last few weeks have brought everything from unnamed soldiers to the mayor getting tear gassed.
What could be crazier than that? An activist llama.
Caesar the “No Drama Llama”, who works as a therapy animal, has been participating in the Portland rallies as of late – serving as a flickering light in the midst of these dark protests that have taken over the city. Caesar, a 5-foot-8, 350 Argentine former grand champion show animal, is known as a natural peacemaker, according to his owner, Larry McCool.
McCool, who runs the Mystic Llama Farm in Jefferson, Oregon, started bringing Caesar to the rallies to serve as a therapy animal. It all seems to be working because protesters and police officers have lined up for emotional support hugs at the rallies and elsewhere where Caesar has appeared. The photos of the llama on social networks have made her a celebrity because with her presence people feel a little more at peace amid the continuous violent protests that have
broken out in Portland.
“I don’t care how big, how assertive, how intense somebody is; he could be a great protester in
total riot control, and he’ll come over and give Caesar a big hug,” McCool said.
While Caesar doesn’t speak, it is his non-verbal actions that have spoken volumes. On June 9, when nearly 5,000 people performed a nine-minute tribute to George Floyd, Caesar was among those who paid their respects.
“Caesar stood there, motionless, just like this. He understood the moment. He understood the importance of what we were doing,” McCool said. “(He) did not move an inch that whole time.”
While many of the protests have turned into riots full of violence against police and civilians, Caesar’s presence has brought a sense of calm to the Portland protestors.
“As intense as the public is, the protesters and the federal agents and the marshals, … he actually can defuse that very much. That’s his whole purpose.”