Hello. It's my pleasure to introduce these two toy llamas.
These very innocent-looking llamas are from Argentina!
When David Crowe, a political journalist at The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, went to South America to cover the G20, he generously bought the llamas for his colleagues Stephanie Peatling and Bevan Shields.
Back in December, Peatling did what anyone might do with adorable toy llamas and tweeted a picture of them.
But somewhere out there on Twitter, there was a snitch.
Two months after Peatling's fateful tweet, Crowe got a text message from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
Oh, what's that, you don't know Australia's agriculture department? Allow me to refresh your memory of the saga of Pistol and Boo, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's dogs, who narrowly escaped death when they wronged the department.
In 2015, then agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce threatened to put Pistol and Boo permanently to sleep.
Without declaring the pups, Depp and Heard brought Pistol and Boo on their private jet to Australia, where they remained until their groomers posted a photo on Facebook...
...and the Australian government was not at all happy.
"If we start letting movie stars – even though they've been [voted] the Sexiest Man Alive twice – to come into our nation, then why don't we just break the laws for everybody?" Joyce said.
Pistol and Boo did indeed bugger off (on a private jet). But then Heard ended up having to stand trial for bringing the dogs into Australia.
And the department got Depp and Heard to create this seminal piece of art.
Anyway, the point of all this is that the Australian government takes biosecurity extreeeeemely seriously.
Back to the llamas.
Crowe thought there was some mistake. Surely the government had got the wrong David (and the wrong llama).
But it was real. Apparently the Department of Agriculture is texting these days.
Someone on Twitter had DOBBED him in to the department.
And now Vicki was coming for the llamas.
And their "viable" seeds.
Things were looking grim for the llamas. Their owners were getting ready to say goodbye.
Were they headed for the incinerator?!??!
But in a last-minute twist, Crowe discovered that there really weren't that many "viable seeds" nestling within the llamas' side packs.
So off the department went with the seeds, leaving the llamas with empty packs.
BuzzFeed News asked the department for more information on what went down with the llamas and their seeds.
A spokesperson told us that the department "treats referrals from external sources of potential biosecurity risk seriously".
"Information provided to the department is reviewed and acted upon promptly," they added.
"Untreated plant and animal matter has the potential to carry a range of pests or diseases which could devastate our $60 billion agricultural industries."
These llamas had a lucky escape after a close shave with death.
And now this llama is back in business, baby.
Hannah Ryan is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.
Contact Hannah Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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