Thoreau was born in 1997 and moved to our farm in 1998. He was acquired to be a companion to Túpac (llamas are herd animals and we had just acquired Túpac as our first male and future stud). Our agreement with the selling farm required that we neuter Thoreau when he reached age 2½ (his gait did not meet conformation standards and we and the selling farm did not want to pass on this negative trait). The age 2½ requirement reflected a risk that earlier neutering could lead to abnormal leg growth and early breakdown of the pasterns. We strongly believe that neutering should be avoided unless there are cogent reasons for neutering. There are risks with any surgery and we personally know of the deaths of two llamas in Maine following neutering, one from anesthesia problems and the other from internal bleeding. The cogent reasons for neutering Thoreau were the agreement and testerone influenced behavior. He is the only llama on our farm which has been neutered for the latter reason. Thoreau has been one of our PR llamas and ably served as a member of the Maine Llama Drill Team. He is now retired from both activities.