Well. Did everybody enjoy the high-stakes drama of a live llama chase this afternoon? Good. Now that the llamas have been apprehended, it's time to sit back, take a deep breath and ask how we got to this place.
As always, the USDA Agricultural Census has the answers to soothe us in our time of national need. There were 76,086 llamas in the United States as of 2012. This represents a significant decrease from 2007, when 122,680 llamas called the United States home.
In 2012, here's where all of those llamas lived:
Maricopa County, Ariz., the site of today's llama drama, is home to 115 llamas, meaning approximately 1.7 percent of the Maricopa County's llamas were fugitives from the law as of today.
But the title of Llama Capital of the U.S. goes to Morrill County, Neb., home to 913 of the beasts. Washoe County, Nev.; Clackamas County, Ore.; and Teller County, Colo., round up the rest of the top four.
Llamas are considerably less numerous than goats or sheep, and they're also less geographically concentrated. There are llama population centers in Arizona, Texas, Colorado, Wisconsin and several states along the coasts.
In short, if this could happen in Maricopa County, it could happen anywhere.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this post included a feature photo of alpacas, not llamas. The author is deeply ashamed and embarrassed.