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The Vicuna is one of two wild South American camelids, along with the guanaco, which live in the high alpine areas of the Andes. Vicuñas produce small amounts of extremely fine wool, which is very expensive because the animal can only be shorn every three years, and has to be caught from the wild. When knitted together, the product of the vicuña’s wool is very soft and warm.

Before being declared endangered in 1974, only about 6,000 animals were left. Today, the vicuña population has recovered to about 200,000 and are growing. Mating takes place in March and April with one foal being born 11 months later the foal will suckle from its mother for 10month but will start to graze at around 6 months of age.

Did You Know…

Vicunas are related to camels, the wool from a vicuna is among the most luxurious in the world and has been farmed for thousands of years.

Diet – Herbivores: feeding on sparse grasses and roots of the high Andes plateaus.

Threat Status – Least Concern

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