Llama #11 on our farm was Autumn Hill's Tatoka. In spring 2001, we took 2 of our breeding females (April and Sheba) to Yellow Wood Llamas in Martinsville, IN to be bred to 2 of their males. April was to be bred to PPF Pablo Cruz, a beautiful white male with a red head. She was bred and spit off several times before returning home with Sheba. Later in the fall we determined that April didn't hold the pregnancy, so she went back to YWL to be bred again. She was bred again, and during one of the spit tests she actually attacked Pablo! We hoped she would hold the pregnancy and took her home again. About a year later (in October 2002), Tatoka was born.
|Autumn Hill's Tatoka at 1 month of age. (Unfortunately this is the only digital picture I have of him!)|
April was notorious for having her babies when no one was home. On the day Tatoka was born, my mom came home to check on April during her lunch hour. Barely an hour later, my sister and I came home on the school bus to find the baby already born and walking around! Tatoka is a Native American word for "antelope" (I believe in the Lakota language). Tatoka was running around the pasture almost as soon as he could stand on 4 legs, so we thought the name was appropriate.
|Alder Crest April Showers, Tatoka's mom, at the 2002 Great Lakes Regionals. Tatoka was only 2 weeks old at the time of this show, and he was a huge hit!|
Tatoka was one of the very first llamas that I sold. He was sold to a new llama breeder and fiber artist in February 2003 (though he didn't leave the farm until he was weaned). His new owner has since become a great friend, and she gives Tatoka a great home. Tatoka was purchased to be a breeding male, but he was ultimately gelded and is now a farm greeter and fiber producer. Every time I go to visit (his owner also has a fiber store!), it amazes me how much he looks like his mom!