Tito’s ears perked up and his lengthy neck swiveled towards some deer down the highway. He is probably the most observant and curious of the Llama Squad, a newly shaped trio who stay on a number of acres of land in Bartlett.

Increasingly today, the three llamas, new to Memphis final spring, have been venturing to extra populated spots, posing for images close to the Hernando de Soto bridge and Levitt Shell.

Quickly after, Everett Van Zandt, 3, grabbed the leash and guided the 220-pound llama up a mound of filth for a greater view of the road in Shelby Farms. Tito the Llama, King of the Hill. 

Brothers Cooper and Everett Van Zandt stand on top of a dirt hill with llamas and Chewy (brown) and Tito at Shelby Farms playground in Memphis, Tenn., on Friday, October 18, 2020.

Whitney Van Zandt, who dubbed Tito king on a current Friday afternoon, has been round llamas since she was 10. What started as a part-time volunteer job become full-time volunteer job, become a lifelong love.

Initially from California, Van Zandt moved to Memphis practically ten years in the past with different llamas who’ve since died. This spring, llamas Tito, Kaibab and Chewy got here from their former midwestern properties to their new residence with the Van Zandts. Since they arrived, the household has made a pointed effort to socialize the younger trio, benefitting each the llamas and any passersby.  

“Everyone, even when they do not come up and see them, once they come by, most instances you get a smile otherwise you get individuals like, ‘What a minute. What was that?'” Whitney mentioned, laughing. 

Whitney Van Zandt and her llama Kaibab at Shelby Farms playground in Memphis, Tenn., on Friday, October 18, 2020. She has handled lamas for over 28 years.

A gradual stream of individuals of all ages got here as much as the llamas at Shelby Farms on a current Friday, inquisitive about the place the three had been from, how they bought right here and what they’re like as pets. 

“Not one thing you see on daily basis round right here,” mentioned one man at Shelby Farms. 

Whitney acknowledged that “we hear that continuously.”

Like loads of different animals today, the squad has its personal accounts on social media, the place Whitney’s husband, Memphis photographer Phillip Van Zandt, shares their images round city. 

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