Pooh Bear hummed, but he wasn’t singing.
It was a clear sign, said his owner, Kim Hubbell, that he wasn’t particularly pleased with being shaved.
But two weeks ago he endured a 15-minute trim, and Kim, her husband, Pat, and their two children collected his hair and those of their five other llamas at their Lawrence home.
It was all for a good cause, and Pooh Bear’s hair — which could be stuffed into fabric to make “hair booms” to soak up oil from the Gulf of Mexico spill — would help his animal friends a thousand miles away.
Pooh Bear watched disinterestedly as Milena Hubbell, 5, demonstrated how his hair did a remarkable job of clumping up some motor oil collected from the Hubbells’ garage.
It was a cheap way to help. Across the nation, barbers, pet owners and farmers shipped hair to a national nonprofit organization, Matter of Trust.
But warehouses are filled with donated hair because BP is declining the supplies, said Lisa Gauthier, Matter of Trust president.
“It’s coming out the doors,” Gauthier said of the 19 warehouses where the hair is being stocked.
Gauthier is in New Orleans trying to convince BP to use the hair booms, but she said BP says they have plenty of synthetic booms to use in the cleanup efforts. It’s an argument she isn’t buying.
“Everybody’s going to need it,” she said. “What we want is BP to take it now.”
The situation has been frustrating for the Hubbells, who simply wanted to help with the cleanup.
“Oh yeah, extremely discouraging,” Kim Hubbell said. “Let people help.”
Gauthier said she thinks the donated hair eventually will be used in cleanup efforts, particularly as the oil hits smaller communities in the Gulf region.
“Nobody wants to let the Gulf down,” Gauthier said. “BP, come on. At least look at this stuff.”