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Zoo Worker Called ‘Harsh’ For Allowing Llama To Spit On Teens Who Were Antagonizing It

Jennifer N Bell /Getty Images

There are those who love animals more than they love people.

Who can blame them, as most animals provide an ongoing sense of comfort and support, not to mention affection, which few human beings could even hope to achieve.

Sadly, there are still many others who view animals as inferior, and thus don’t treat them with the respect they deserve.

Sometimes even going so far as abusing them.

Redditor oscholey1990 often witnessed both kinds of people owing to the fact that they worked at a zoo.

When the original poster (OP) recently saw two teenagers treating an animal poorly, they warned them to stop, for their own good.

When the teens chose to ignore their warning, the OP decided not to tell them just what they were possibly in for.

Which was far worse than they could have imagined.

Wondering if they made a mistake, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for allowing two teenagers to be spit on by a llama?”

The OP explained that after witnessing two teens misbehaving around an animal, they made the decision not to warn them how things could possibly escalate.

“I work at a petting zoo here, and this weekend we had two teenagers, around 16, boyfriend and girlfriend, who were antagonizing a llama.”

“I told them ‘you might want to cut that out! Llamas spit in self-defense’.”

“But they kind of laughed my warning off.”

“Now, I knew that llama spit was a whole lot worse than they probably thought it was.”

“But I decided not to tell them about that.”

“I figured if they persisted, I’d trust the llama to teach them a lesson.”

“The llama was being patient.”

“At one point it gave them a ‘warning spit’, just saliva, and they went ‘eww’ and laughed about it and brushed it off, and then kept going at it.”

“Finally, the llama had enough…and unleashed its green, defensive spit that llamas are known for.”

“It got the girl square in the face.”

“She dropped to her knees and started retching, and eventually threw up.”

“Her boyfriend was gagging and ran away, towards the building that I was in.”

“To make things worse for them, I didn’t even let them come in to wash up in the petting zoo’s only bathroom!”

“It was a slow day, so I just locked the doors.”

“I told them I didn’t want that smell inside, and made them leave the farm without washing up.”


“The girl’s parents called me the next day and yelled at me saying that was too harsh.”

“Maybe it was…I knew that if you don’t wash out llama spit right away the smell sinks into your skin and becomes extremely hard to remove, but I wanted the lesson to sink in as well.”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Neither the OP nor the teenagers earned much sympathy from the Reddit community.

Nearly everyone agreed that while the teenagers were worthy of their disgusting fate, they also felt that the OP shouldn’t have allowed the teens to taunt and antagonize the Llama at all, with a few finding the OP went too far by locking them out of the bathroom.


“I work in a zoo.”

“Every day I see people antagonize animals, so this is a situation I’m personally familiar with.”

“Yeah, the teens are assholes for pestering the llama, but you’re also the asshole for allowing it to continue so long that the llama felt the need to spit defensively.”

“You should have asked them to leave or gotten a supervisor/security to do so.”

“It was also an asshole move to lock the bathroom.”

“I understand your moral point of view, but getting them kicked out of the petting zoo would have been a better, non-asshole punishment and would have saved the poor llama from more undue stress.”- rockplusbird


“They got what they deserved for annoying an animal.”

“Locking the bathroom was a d*ck move though.”- Reignbeaus


“Its your responsibility to do more to protect the llama from people harassing it.”

“This animal is captive and doesn’t have much choice besides spitting as a last resort.”

“When you told the teenagers that the llama might spit on them, they probably just assumed it would be normal saliva, which is why they laughed it off.”

“You didn’t make any effort to inform them of the true nature of llama spit.”

“Given how gross llama spit is, you not letting them use the bathroom to clean up is kind of understandable but this is a situation you could have done far more to prevent.”

“I find this sub is very black and white and gives out NTA judgements like candy if the other party is doing anything remotely stupid or irresponsible.”

“However in this situation you are an EMPLOYEE of this zoo so it literally is your responsibility to do more than say ‘haha I’ll just let the llama spit on them to teach em a lesson’ to prevent these kinds of situations.”- laserdance


“Definitely not asshole to let the llama spit on them as you tried to warn them but refusing them the bathroom was unnecessary and tips it for me.”- Rrose1989


“I am sure the child failed to tell her parents that she was tormenting the poor animal.”

“You should have thrown them out when the llama made his warning spit indicating that he was in distress.”- BlaireTreadway


“You warned these two a**holes that llamas spit in self-defense.”

“Heck, the llama even gave a warning spit before unleashing the nasty.”

“You’re not an a-hole for that.”

“You are an a-hole for not letting them use the bathroom to clean up.”

“Surely plenty of people have washed the smell of wild animals off their skin after petting them.”- DaniCapsFan


“The kids are obviously a**holes.”

“You allowed kids to continue antagonizing, your word, an animal so you could get a chuckle at their expense.”

“You allowed an animal in your care to be mistreated for the lulz.”- RosaPalms


“You because you let the animal be mistreated, them because play stupid games etc. etc.”

“The poor llama must have been very pissed off since Wikipedia says, ‘one may determine how agitated the llama is by the materials in the spit.”

“The more irritated the llama is, the further back into each of the three stomach compartments it will try to draw materials from for its spit’.”- Potato4


“If they were harassing an animal in your care it was your responsibility to remove them from the premises.”

“Why the f*ck did you let them continue harassing an animal that can’t get away.”- BottleCoffee

“I mean, the brats deserved it and I was going with not TA until the end, when you got petty and lost my vote.”

“The lesson was learned already by the time they wanted to use the bathroom.”

“I would have let them clean up, or at least given them a hose.”

“So ESH.”- reirone


“hHahaha yeah I was with you, teaching the kids some valuable life lessons.”

“Right until you locked them out of the bathroom, you must know that was a lapse of judgement right?”- princepukeko

There were those who felt that the OP was the one solely at fault, simply for the fact that they did not do their job.

“YTA for a couple of reasons.”

“Firstly, you work at the petting zoo, presumably your job is to ensure the safety and well being of both the animals and the visitors.”

“By letting the kids antagonize a llama you were derelict in your duty to the animal, and by letting them get spit on, you were derelict in your duty to the visitors.”

“Secondly you were a double asshole for not letting them wash up knowing how long the stuff would sink in.”

“Especially after my first point, that was obnoxiously petty to do so.”

“If you were my employee I would be considering giving you a written warning for this sort of thing.”- notwhelmed


“You work at a petting zoo and allowed the kids to torment one of your animals.”

“You warned them and they continued to do it anyway, soooo… you just let them keep going until they got spit on?”

“Good for the llama for sticking up for itself, but if I were your manager, you would find yourself unemployed tomorrow.”

“Taking care of the animals is just about the most important part of working in a zoo.”- TOONstones


“You let those kids antagonize that animal until it lashed out, you should’ve kicked them out long before it got to that point.”-XysidheQueen

The OP did give those teens a warning, which they chose to ignore.

Yet it was the OP’s job to protect the Llama, so when they ignored their warning, it was their job to get those teens away from the llama.

Hopefully, there was a lesson learned for everyone involved.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.