Tyne & Wear

Farmer 'horrified' after Larry the llama shot dead

Larry with the alpaca flock Image copyright Northumbria Police
Image caption The farmer that looked after Larry and his fellow llamas, said he was "horrified"

A farmer was left "horrified" after discovering a llama had been shot dead on his land.

The llama, called Larry, was found shot at the Hilltop Farm Animal Sanctuary near Longhorsely, Northumberland.

It is believed poachers trespassed on the farm last Wednesday and Thursday evening before shooting the animal.

Its body was found in a field it shared with other alpacas. Police described it as a "heartless shooting" and are investigating.

Robin Hill, from Hilltop Sanctuary, rescued Larry six years ago from a zoo. He said the llama was a "peaceful animal" and "popular with kids".

He said a horse had also been killed by poachers seven years ago, and a pregnant sheep had been disembowelled by dogs.

Northumbria Police said the people responsible "may have mistaken Larry for a deer".

Sgt Mick Aspey said: "This heartless shooting has understandably led to outrage in the community and on social media.

"We know that poaching can be a problem in our rural communities and I want to reassure people that we take it seriously."

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