Despite protests among the population, British authorities have put the alpaca Geronimo to sleep. According to the authorities, the mountain llama had a severe illness. Government officials collected Geronimo under police guard from a farm in Wickwar.
Geronimo is from New Zealand and has been in the UK since August 2017. There, the animal has repeatedly tested positive for a form of tuberculosis. Owner Helen Macdonald questioned the reliability of those tests and fought in vain a legal battle to save Geronimo.
Macdonald was not alone in her desire to save the alpaca from lethal injection. A petition to save the animal’s life garnered nearly 150,000 signatures. According to the BBC, prominent Britons such as TV presenter Chris Packham and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s father also supported the campaign to save Geronimo.
In early August, pro-Geronimo protesters marched through London’s government centre to demand that the alpaca’s lives be spared. However, the authorities were not relentless. According to the responsible government service Defra, the test that was taken on the animal was very reliable.
The media has also paid a lot of attention to the fate of the animal. Geronimo’s death was ‘breaking news’ at the BBC. The popular tabloid The Sun headlined “RIP Geronimo” on its site and wrote that the animal was killed by “assassins” in Defra protective suits.
Protesters should have watched earlier in the day as the little llama was loaded into a vehicle at Macdonald’s farm surrounded by police officers and taken away. Banners with inscriptions such as “We are Geronimo” were left behind at the alpaca’s stay.