Skip to main content

Vancouver Island ER doctor inspired by kissing llama named Fabio


Bruce Campana never imagined he would grow up to solicit smooches from a llama named Fabio.

“I don’t want to sound weird here,” Bruce says, before asking the llama running towards him for a kiss. “Llamas have the softest lips.

Before we can appreciate Fabio’s pillowy pucker, you need to know Bruce has been an emergency room doctor for decades.

“In the beginning, you’re out for the blood and guts. You’re there for the action,” Bruce says. “Bring me a gunshot wound to the chest, that would make my night.”

But then there was that night he’ll never forget, when he couldn’t save the victim of a car crash.

“He had just died on the table in front of me,” Bruce says before fighting back tears. “And my next patient was the drunk driver who hit him.”

That driver had only suffered a small cut on his head. After a few minutes of attending to him, Bruce told the driver he’d just killed a husband and father. The driver responded by swearing and saying he didn’t care. But Bruce had to keep fixing him.

“It’s my job,” Bruce says through tears.

It's a job Bruce eventually realized he needed to find a sanctuary away from.

“You need to go where that stuff doesn’t follow you,” Bruce says as he walks around the rural property he dubbed 'The Loud Macaw Farm.'

It’s named after his vocal, rainbow-feathered pet Juanita.

Bruce’s family also includes sheep named Winston and Clementine, two emus dubbed Rex and Edna, ducks Thelma and Louise, and a flock of chickens, all called Henrietta.

There’s also Bruce’s beloved wife and twin boys.

“This is where my heart feels at rest,” Bruce smiles.

Which brings us back to the llamas. Along with Brad and Lance, there’s the king of kisses, Fabio.

“Watching Fabio with other people is fabulous,” Bruce smiles, showing pictures of the llama greeting visitors with a gentle lip touch.

No matter how apprehensive you may be as he approaches you, Fabio will give you the softest of smooches that will leave you feeling surprisingly joyful.

“There’s something about an animal that’s non-judgmental, that accepts you,” Bruce says. “That warms people’s hearts.”

Like that one particular patient Bruce will never forget giving a devastating diagnosis to.

“I choked up talking to her,” Bruce recalls with tears in his eyes. “And she reached out and took my hand and comforted me because I was so upset.”

Bruce has learned — no matter your profession — to make compassion paramount, and positivity a priority.

“There’s tough parts of life. But, oh my gosh, there’s some beautiful parts of life,” Bruce smiles. “Don’t let the tough parts blind you to beautiful parts.” Top Stories

Stay Connected