BOISE, Idaho — Meet Dean Martin.
But he's just 'Dean' to the Zoo Boise staff and the thousands of visitors that flock to his exhibit every year.
Dean was part of a llama herd that arrived at Zoo Boise years ago. All were named after members of the 'Rat Pack': Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis, Joey Bishop, and Frank Sinatra.
Today, Dean is the only llama that remains.
At 22-years-old, Zoo Boise Director Gene Peacock says Dean is about 80 in human years.
"Dean, he's doing good. He's got some age-related issues," Peacock said.
"He's got a corneal ulcer which is common in older animals," Holly Holman, a veterinarian at Zoo Boise. "We've got a protective contact lens on, it actually covers his entire left eye."
Holman says he'll have that on for about a month.
The average life-span of a llama? 20 years.
So what's the secret to living a long, healthy and happy llama life?
"He eats a good balanced diet, he gets lots of TLC from us," Holman said. "I think good genetics and things like that are all factors. He's just lucky I guess."
"He is well, well-loved by the community," Peacock said.
So well-loved that Zoo Boise has used him as their unofficial spokes-llama.
"I'm pretty sure there have been thousands and thousands taken of dean the llama over the years," Peacock said. "He's been in media campaigns, he was a big part of our Gorongosa groundbreaking and opening."
Zoo Boise is part of a partnership to rebuild the Gorongosa National Park, nearly destroyed by 25 years of war in Mozambique.
The zoo hopes their new exhibit will generate $2 million towards conservation efforts.
By visiting Dean at Zoo Boise, part of the price of your ticket does just that.
"He's a really good boy and he's a great ambassador for our zoo," Holman said.
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