26 February 2015
Last updated at 21:38
There’s nothing Twitter likes more than a live chase, even if the chase is decidedly… low-speed.
That was the case on Thursday, when two llamas escaped from a show-and-tell presentation at a retirement community in Sun City, Arizona. Local television station ABC15 used its helicopter – more often used for traffic reports and car chases – to film the action in real time.
In doing so, they unwittingly struck social media gold.
A Twitter audience watched with bated breath as the two llamas – a larger white llama and a smaller black llama – dodged traffic, ran through parking lots and evaded multiple attempts to lasso them into captivity.
According to social science software Spredfast, “Peak Llama” usage on Twitter was 3,084 tweets per minute. In the course of the afternoon, four of Twitter’s top 10 Trending terms were llama related: #llamawatch, #teamllama, Sun City and White Llama.
It seemed that bored workers in the US found the llamas’ short taste of freedom an inspiring break from the midday blues. For a glorious 30 minutes or so, it seemed like all of America – at least those on Twitter – were watching together.
“I am watching a police llama chase live on the internet. What a time to be alive,” wrote technology writer Owen Williams
“This is like Thelma and Louise if Thelma got lassoed and put inside a truck and Louise was still running free and also was a llama,” wrote The New Republic’s Rebecca Traister.
Some commented on the athletic display.
“The white llama is a very smart runner. Knows the game inside and out and can make quick decisions. Any farm is lucky to have this guy,” wrote the sport-oriented @FanSince09.
For others, the llama chase served as political allegory.
“A direct result of Obama’s Llamnesty policy,” wrote Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for US President Barack Obama.
“I hope people don’t judge all llamas for this, or rush to blame it on Isllamaism,” said @MazMHussain.
Still others saw the great llama chase of 2015 as a statement on office culture.
“Humans sitting in offices watching llamas run around free in the sunshine. Somehow i feel like we lost,” wrote @that_lucie_girl.
In the end, the llamas were captured – and everyone went back to work.
Blog by Brenna Cammeron
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