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Caesar The Llama Eases Tensions At Portland Protests

Portland, US: On the streets of Portland where clashes between protesters and law enforcement have frequently turned violent, there is one thing that has brought people together- the calm that comes from hugging a llama.

Ceasar, a six-year-old llama has become a fixture in the city, extending his neck to nuzzle both Black Lives Matter activists and law enforcement officers in body armor. Owner Larry McCool credits Ceasar with having a calming effect on a city where nightly protests are now in their 71rst day. So even as intense as the public is, the protesters and the federal agents and the marshals, you know, as intense as that is, he actually can defuse that very much," McCool said.

McCool and Ceasar have been involved with a number of social justice issues and says Ceasar's personality, friendly and affectionate, makes him well suited for peacemaking. He says llamas are typically more aloof.

McCool, who supports the Black Lives Matter movement, is quick to point out that by bringing Ceasar to the streets, he hopes to call attention to the movement. Near a memorial to African-Americans impacted by police violence - many stopped to pet Ceasar and take selfies with him.

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