[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he animals were donated to Colorado State University just months ago — 26 llamas, according to sources, along with the farm where they lived in the scenic town of Lyons on the way to Estes Park. But Lyons was hit hard in last week’s raging floods, and university officials got word days ago that the long-necked wooly creatures had succumbed to the rushing water and isolation that struck areas across the northern Colorado foothills and Front Range.
Sources said the recently deceased original owners of the llama farm lavished attention on the animals and gave them all names. The donation to CSU was included in a will. The university caretakers were reportedly forced to evacuate in a hurry in front of the flood waters, like so many others in the drenched foothills regions.
University officials are still unable to reach the farm and are weighing what to do with the animal carcasses once they are recovered.
Surreal dispatches from across the Connecticut-size flood zone continue to surface. Mounds of displaced mountain-clay dust and branches pile up around Boulder’s high-tech business office spaces. Flapping fish flicker on hillsides. Remnants of farms and forests spread across sink-holed highways. Landmark man-made lakes, where generations of children have learned to swim and fish, have been drained by broken dams and now appear as unrecognizable red-clay fields.