By Niki Anderson-Kuklenski
What started as a quest to find pictures of my own male llama Eagle, has now turned into a full-time hobby or should I say obsession? As I began making phone calls to track down pictures and information, I soon realized that a lot of the old information and llama pictures are slowly being lost, thrown away or just boxed up. There are many old pictures that the ILR does not even have!
Over the last 13+ years, I have been contacting many of the old breeders by letter, phone and e-mail. In my contacting I have requested that they send me pictures, old records or old publications they no longer need. If they still need these pictures, I scan and color photo copy them and mail them right back. The result has been a HUGE database of pictures and information on many of the old and new llamas in the industry. Many of my pictures are quite unique and hard to find. Countless hours have been spent picking up boxes from retired breeders, writing letters, requesting identification, entering data and organizing data.
One of the coolest things I have managed to pull off is, the compiling of a database referencing which publication pictures are listed in. It is organized alphabetically, listing the publication it is found in and often times a description of the quality of the picture (head shot, full body, young). Additionally, if it is an animal that has sold at an auction it may have the sale price listed next to it or some other useful information. I have shelves of Llama Life 2's, Llamas, Llama Banners, sale fliers, sale catalogs, llama books and llama videos. Many a phone call has been made asking who the llama in an advertisement or book is so that we will all know!
In my research I have learned many things about bloodlines and animals that have been part of our history. I have kept detailed notes on traits, comments, problems and other useful information that I should know for my brokering business. I DO NOT share this information or my sources, I use it to make good decisions for outside breedings for my own male and as I said, brokering. It has been fun to talk to the older breeders and to hear some of their stories.
This whole hobby has really been rewarding and challenging. I have received boxes of pictures and managed to track down who the llamas are in the pictures. Everytime I open a letter or package from someone, it is like Christmas! I am still trying to track down pictures of Old Hilda, Ole Papoufnik, Babe and a few others (this is my current wish list). I do have a full set of Llama Life's, Llama Banners and Llamas. I still need a few of the Llama Links and Llama Marketplaces. It is hard to know what sale catalogs I need, but I have a lot of them. I keep lists of all the things I have so, if you think you have one I don't, e-mail me!
I sell the extra issues of publications I get and use the money to buy more off Ebay or from private parties. Eventually I am hoping to publish this database of where to find pictures, so that everyone will know at a glance how to find it. As far as I know, nobody has this information besides myself.
So how can you help?
1. Mark all your pictures with the name, sex and ILR number of the llama. You never know what may happen to you and if someone else ends up with them they should know who they are. You know who they are, but would others? I have gotten a ton of pictures of llamas that I still don't have I.D. on. Also, please go into the ILR database and update your animals baby shots with adult shots.
2. Feel free to send me pictures of llamas that you think should be in my database of private pictures (won't be in the published database, but will be kept as a record). I do share these and am willing to act as a historian of sorts by keeping them and having them filed neatly. I also update the ILR pictures in their database if I have a better or older shot of the llama.
3. HELP ME! If I contact you and ask for pictures, please respond in some way. If you are planning on helping, but can't right now, let me know! Many people have been wonderful and so helpful (see my list below), but I still can't find a few. If you have information on them, please let me know! (see list below) Also, tell folks that are getting out about what I am doing!
4. Take pictures of your animals and provide them with offspring you sell. Many people just want to know what their llamas family looks like.
Thank you for any help you may give me! If you have any questions or information, I may be contacted by:
Thank you to the following folks for their help: Fred and Susan Hamlin, Judie Moser, Kay Sharpnack, Linda Patterson, Mark Brant, Jim and Karen Mumford, Jerry and JoAnn VanderYacht, John Fontenot, Don Linkem, Oak Hill Farms, Liz Martin, Betsy Rubble, Carolyn Willis, Kathie Sprout, Dannie Sayers, Terry Dwyer, Llamas and More, Art Kennel, Sheron Herriges, Terry Deutsch, Carol Kronn, Harlan Harris, Jim and Marilynn Larson, Virginia Christensen, Pam Clark, Gwen Ingram, Maggie Schuler, Ken Austin, Kate Otey, Kathy Kramer, Andy Tillman, Cathy Spalding, Kathy McKinney, Wally White, Dan and Sharon Clark, Velta Mack, Marilyn Milton, Nancy Fox, Stan Jacobs, Jennifer Clark and many more!
I am still trying to find: Jim Brown, Vern Pardon and Stella Lee.
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