Llama Runs Free on Roads Near Athens, Georgia | NBC4 Washington

Llama Runs Free on Roads Near Athens, Georgia

"I at first thought it was a homeless person with a really big backpack"

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    Oconee County Georgia Sheriff's Office / Twitter user @definatley
    A llama was seen running around Georgia near Athens on Wednesday, January 4, 2017.

    A llama was on the lam in Georgia for a little while Wednesday afternoon, bringing out sheriff's deputies and, according to two witnesses, slowing traffic as onlookers gawked. 

    The woolly scofflaw was seen in Oconee County, on the 10 highway near Athens, which is east of Atlanta, according to the county sheriff's Facebook page. "We can't make this stuff up," deputies added in a post reporting the loose llama.

    A photo shared to the department's Facebook showed a brown llama with a white neck and black spots around its left eye and mouth.

    It appeared to have been wrangled by a captain.  Another photo posted just before 5 p.m. ET showed the llama in custody, along with the caption, "Captain Hale, llama whisperer." Other posts on social media showed the llama surrounded by law enforcement officials.

    Athens resident Hannah Martin tweeted two pictures showing a llama on a road Wednesday around the time of the sheriff's Facebook post.

    She told NBC she spotted the llama about 100 yards away, galloping down the median on Epps Bridge Road, and said traffic nearby had stopped.

    "I think everyone was just really taken aback," she said.

    She and her boyfriend pulled over to take pictures. Martin's boyfriend, Matt Bridgers, said the llama was a fast runner.

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    "I at first thought it was a homeless person with a really big backpack," Martin said. "Then I saw it galloping down the median and I realized it was a llama."

    In 2015, a pair of loose llamas being chased by Arizona law enforcement brought business on the internet to a near-standstill as people watched live feeds from helicopters. Even Sen. John McCain and the Arizona Cardinals watched that llama drama unfold. (The llamas were safely corralled.)

    Llamas on the Loose!Llamas on the Loose!

    Two llamas darted around Phoenix, Ariz. leading authorities on a wild llama chase on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015.
    (Published Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015)

    Martins and Bridgers said they weren't aware of that precedent when they pulled over for this llama.

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    Two llamas darted around Phoenix, Arizona, leading authorities on a wild llama chase on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015.
    (Published Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015)