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‘No Drama Llama’ keeps protesters and police cool in Portland

‘No Drama Llama’ keeps protesters and police cool in Portland
Source: Tania/Twitter via Upworthy

Caesar McCool the ‘No Drama’ therapy llama’s calming presence has been helping keep the peace between protesters and police amid Portland demonstrations.

“llamactivist” calms tensions at protests

Caesar the "No Drama Llama" and his caretaker, Larry McCool, have been marching in Portland Black Lives Matter protests and he’s been a calming influence on both demonstrators and the police alike.  The protests have been calmer in recent days, reported The Washington Post on Wednesday. The shift away from large-scale clashes with police deploying tear gas came after the Trump administration pulled back federal law enforcement officers. But even during the intensity of the unrest, there were pockets of calm around Caesar McCool. Caesar, better known as “Caesar the No Drama Llama,” is a retired 6-year-old Argentine grand champion show llama that now works as a therapy llama and “llamactivist.” One of his best talents is offering emotional-support hugs, which people line up to give him at protests and other places where Caesar shows up. He’s become somewhat of a celebrity.

Source: Twitter/Princess Rebel Scum
Before the pandemic, they would go to schools, malls and visit foster children and people with special needs. The visits are on a volunteer basis, though sometimes McCool accepts donations to offset transportation and other costs.
“As a llamactivist, we also do a lot of social and charity functions outside of our presence at protests,” Larry McCool said.
When they’re not protesting, McCool and Caesar go to retirement homes to visit residents outside their windows. Before the pandemic, they would go to schools, malls and visit foster children and people with special needs. The visits are on a volunteer basis, though sometimes McCool accepts donations to offset transportation and other costs.
“As a llamactivist, we also do a lot of social and charity functions outside of our presence at protests,” Larry McCool said. Source: Twitter/Thomas Brewer
Artwork celebrating Caesar by @julia_the_hut. (Julia Hut)
Artwork celebrating Caesar by @julia_the_hut. (Julia Hut) Source: Via Washington Post
Larry McCool has owned the Mystic Llama Farm for about 20 years and cared for dozens of llamas. But when he met Caesar in 2015, he immediately noticed that Caesar was unusual.
Caesar and Larry McCool at the Portland Women’s March on March 1. (Jim Hair) Larry McCool has owned the Mystic Llama Farm for about 20 years and cared for dozens of llamas. But when he met Caesar in 2015, he immediately noticed that Caesar was unusual. Source: WashingtonPost
“I don’t care how big, how staunch, how intense that somebody is — it could be a big marcher in total riot gear, and he will come up and give Caesar a big hug,” said McCool, 66. “It’s all I can do to just keep him from snuggling.”
Caesar, the calmer llama. “I don’t care how big, how staunch, how intense that somebody is — it could be a big marcher in total riot gear, and he will come up and give Caesar a big hug,” said McCool, 66. “It’s all I can do to just keep him from snuggling.” Source: Nathan Howard//Reuters
“He’s a magical creature,” McCool said. “I wish I could take some credit for him, but he’s developed all on his own. I’ve been his tutor and his guide, but sometimes I’m the one following him.”
Caesar genuinely enjoys interacting with people, McCool said, and radiates a sense of warmth similar to some dogs. “He’s a magical creature,” McCool said. “I wish I could take some credit for him, but he’s developed all on his own. I’ve been his tutor and his guide, but sometimes I’m the one following him.” Source: Nathan Howard/Reuters
In recent years, they have attended more than 50 marches in support of a variety of civil and environmental causes.
So far this year, Caesar and McCool have attended 10 Black Lives Matter protests in Oregon, including five in Portland’s epicenter, to offer support and a tranquil presence to protesters. In recent years, they have attended more than 50 marches in support of a variety of civil and environmental causes. Source: Nathan Howard/Reuters
“Caesar brings calm and defuses tension within these extremely volatile situations because everyone loves him as much as he loves everyone,” McCool said.
Cool, calm and cuddly. “Caesar brings calm and defuses tension within these extremely volatile situations because everyone loves him as much as he loves everyone,” McCool said. Source: Nathan Howard/Reuters
Police sometimes react to Caesar the same way protesters do, McCool said. During a recent large protest in Portland, Caesar and McCool ambled by a group of Portland police officers who were stationed in a parking lot near the unrest. The officers pet Caesar and asked to take photos, McCool said. The same thing happened at the Salem Women’s March this year.
Caesar poses for a selfie with police at the Salem Women’s March in March 2020. Police sometimes react to Caesar the same way protesters do, McCool said. During a recent large protest in Portland, Caesar and McCool ambled by a group of Portland police officers who were stationed in a parking lot near the unrest. The officers pet Caesar and asked to take photos, McCool said. The same thing happened at the Salem Women’s March this year. Source: Trish Conlon/Washington Post
It’s about a 150-mile round-trip drive to Portland from the farm where they live, but McCool doesn’t mind making the journey, and Caesar “travels in style” behind McCool’s truck. “He has his own trailer behind my truck that he travels in, with two inches of foam padding. He doesn’t rough it too much — he’s a pretty pampered llama,” McCool said.
McCool said he is willing to spend the time and money that it takes to participate in these activism events. It’s about a 150-mile round-trip drive to Portland from the farm where they live, but McCool doesn’t mind making the journey, and Caesar “travels in style” behind McCool’s truck. “He has his own trailer behind my truck that he travels in, with two inches of foam padding. He doesn’t rough it too much — he’s a pretty pampered llama,” McCool said. Source: Nathan Howard/Reuters/New York Post
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