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|Vicuņa - Vicugna vicugna|
The Vicuņa is one of the 2 wild llamas which as the guanaco live in
the mountaneous areas of the Andes. They produce small amounts of
extremely fine wool which proves to be very expensive as these
animals can only be shorn every 3 years.
Vicuņas are protected by law and were declared endangered in 1974, thanks to this protection their humber has increased greatly but it is still considered endangered.
Their head is quite small with quite long ears, they weight between 30 and 75 kilos.
Vicuņas live exclusively in South America basically around the central Andes involving Bolicia, Peru, Argentina and Chile, they live in the plains and grass lands at high altitudes.
They are very shy animals and are easily startled, they frequently lick calcareous stones which are rich in salt and they can often be seen drinking salt water. They basically eat low grasses which grow in clumps on the ground.
Although they live in herds they live in a family based group where one male usually has 5 to 15 females in his herd as well as the young vicuņas.
Gestation lasts for about 11 months and they usually have a single young.