Inspiring Kindness and Compassion towards Animals, Our Planet, and Each Other
Inspiring Kindness and Compassion towards Animals, Our Planet, and Each Other

Read King's Story (In Memoriam)

King was found in the desert with another llama in 2009. They were most likely dumped by someone who could no longer afford their care. Desperate for food, water, and shelter, they drew closer and closer to the community of houses. Folks grew concerned for the llama's welfare and asked us to pick them up. Both King and his partner, Dutchess were terrified of humans when we brought them home to the Gentle Barn California location. With time and patience, they grew to trust us and enjoy their new sanctuary life. Dutchess was in charge and King either hid in her shadow following her around, or hung behind awaiting instruction from her. When Dutchess passed away, King seemed a little lost without her but quickly found his own voice, confidence, and power. He soon became the true King of the barnyard, protecting the sheep and goats by night, overseeing them by day, taking selfies with guests, and doling out sweet kisses to all of us. His favorite thing to do was sit at the very top of our barnyard like a throne, with the sun shining on his face, the breeze kissing his cheek, watching over his entire kingdom.

Llamas usually live till ten or fifteen years of age, but King loved it here so much that he stayed with us until he was twenty-one years old. On his last day, King perched on his throne one last time, as he sat at the top of the property overlooking the entire barnyard, on a soft blanket, under a tent for shade, with multiple fans cooling him down, casually sipping strawberry electrolytes from a big bowl. We offered him his favorite cookies and bananas. When the doctor arrived King's eyes were soft, he leaned in close to us, and it was clear to all of us that he was ready. With Jay and I, our staff, and his caregivers surrounding him, King took his last breaths easily, soaring to the stars in only a few minutes while we softly sang to him. We will forever miss him in our barnyard, but his life was so impactful and his passing so peaceful that when we think of him, all we feel is joy.

Sponsorship Benefits

When you sponsor an animal for yourself or as a gift, you will receive a Certificate of Sponsorship, which includes your animal friend's bio, and a beautiful photo!

You will also receive monthly updates by email letting you know how your animal friend is doing as well as an updated photo.