CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Three men mutilated a 300-pound llama that was protecting dozens of alpacas in an act of "pure meanness," according to police and the owner of the farm.
The 10-year-old llama named Mighty was killed Jan. 28, and parts of her body were found in two separate locations on the farm in Monroe, about 35 miles southeast of Charlotte, according to Tammy Limer, who runs Borderline Farms.
"This llama weighed 300 pounds," Limer said. "She (wasn't) a little thing. It took some effort for them boys to do what they did."
Charged in the attack were James Robert Lee, 18; Alexander Samuel Clark, 20; and Cody Wyatt Bray, 22, authorities said. They are accused of felony breaking and entering, felony larceny, second-degree trespassing and cruelty to animals.
It was not clear if they have attorneys, and a spokesman for the sheriff's office wasn't immediately available for additional comment Monday.
Borderline Farms promotes itself as "a little piece of heaven in a hectic world." Limer said her half dozen llamas are there to protect her 60 alpacas, which she shears once a year for fur.
In describing a possible motive for the attack, she said: "What I was told is pure meanness."
"They did this for fun," Limer said.
Llamas can protect herds of sheep and alpaca with a posture to alert others in the herd and they can become aggressive, running toward the threat and kicking. Dogs and coyotes have been injured and killed by llamas.
Limer said the llamas are also used as therapy animals for autistic children and the elderly.
"I've taken them to nursing homes and those people just light up when they see them," she said. "It makes their day, but I think it probably does more for me than it does for them."