“That’s Henry, Pablo, Noodle, Neville, Teddy, Paddington, Humphrey, Wallace, Archie…” Farmer Shane Hancock is pointing out all of his llamas around a paddock of his Pine Mountain Farm.
It turns out that a long career in teaching – he is also deputy principal at Leichardt State School – has given him a knack for remembering names, which is handy when you’re also in charge of Queensland’s largest herd of llamas.
He knows all 75 llamas by name
Growing up in Brisbane, Shane always loved animals. When he applied to work at a summer school in the US, he landed a role at a llama farm.
“I had never worked with llamas before and I fell in love. I knew that one day I’d end up with llamas of my own and it’s been a passion now for more than 25 years,” Mr Hancock said.
It wasn’t until six years ago that he was able to buy his first llama and begin building his herd at the Pine Mountain farm he owns with partner Darren.
They have also acquired five donkeys, four miniature ponies, 24 peacocks and various other fowl, as well as two Maremma dogs to look after the poultry.
Shane is friends with the Irwin family after working for several years as an ambassador at their Australia Zoo.
Some members of the Irwin family have even helped name some of his llamas.
“I asked Terri (Irwin) to name him and she said Bob wanted to call him Chandler after Bindi’s boyfriend,” Mr Hancock said.
The Llama Farm, which borders the upper reaches of the Brisbane River, is currently open for group tours by appointment and visitors are able to walk with a llama on a custom-built trail.