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Rojo the Portland therapy llama dies after health takes sudden turn

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    PORTLAND, OR (KPTV ) — After years of spreading joy around the Portland metro area, Rojo the therapy llama has died.

His owners posted on Facebook that his health had taken a dramatic turn for the worse and he wasn’t eating. On Tuesday, they reported that Rojo would only continue to suffer from a breakdown of his health due to hereditary conditions.

The decision was made to euthanize Rojo on Wednesday, according to his owners. However, Rojo passed away “on his own accord” Wednesday, and did not require anesthesia.

“Llamas are very stoic animals and as an animal of prey, showing weakness makes them a larger target to their predators. So often, llamas will not show signs of illness until it is too late,” Rojo’s owners posted on Facebook.

Rojo has visited children’s hospitals and assisted living communities, while attending hundreds of events in and around Portland over the last 12 years. Rojo had even served as the grand marshal of the Rose Festival Fred Meyer Junior Parade.

Just about a week ago, DoveLewis Veterinary Hospital hosted a retirement party for Rojo at Pioneer Courthouse Square. At that time, his owners said Rojo would be retiring to a llama and alpaca farm.

After the decision was made to put down Rojo, his owners said they reached out to the Washington State School for the Blind in Vancouver to see about adding Rojo to the school’s safari room.

Now the plan is to have Rojo taken to a taxidermist and added to the school’s safari room by summer 2020.

“He will forever live on for the students to come who want to know what a llama is like,” according to Rojo’s owners on Facebook.

Rojo’s owners have started a GoFundMe account to assist with the taxidermy cost, as well as veterinary bills.

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