Jack, the decade-long guard llama at the Wakefield Estate in Milton, died on Christmas Day. While his admirers say he never can be replaced, a new llama is scheduled to take over his sheep-protecting duties this month.
Navajo, an 8-year-old female llama, will arrive from a New Hampshire farm on Monday, Feb. 11, according to Erica Max, who runs the education programs at the nonprofit estate.
And since llamas like company, Navajo will be accompanied — at least until June — by 4-year-old Gracie, and Gracie’s baby daughter, Betty.
“We are very excited and a little nervous,” Max said, adding that Navajo will be at the estate on a trial basis. “We want to make sure she has the necessary instincts,” both to guard the estate’s four sheep – Daisy, Ash, Bug, and Dart — and to get along with the approximately 2,000 school children who visit the estate each year.
Max said Jack, who had his own Facebook page and died of natural causes, was an unusually gentle male llama and extremely popular with visitors of all ages.
Mary May “Polly’’ Binney Wakefield left the 23-acre property in 2004 to a trust charged with using it to promote “life-long participatory learning.” To that end, the estate holds various workshops in topics ranging from archeology to mushroom growing to raising chickens in your backyard.
More information about programs, and about how to donate to the llama acquisition fund, is available at www.Wakefieldtrust.org.Johanna Seltz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.