Alpacas and llamas get the attention of tourists who venture to South America, but their wild counterparts – the vicuña and guanaco – are equally impressive.
If you’ve seen many alpacas or llamas, then you can tell this guy is a little different looking. Much more slender and with a simple brown and white coat, it may not look as funny or fancy as the domesticated camelids of South America.
But, this is the ancestor or the alpacas, and it produces the finest wool! Thankfully though, there are very strict controls in how often, and who, can ever herd up wild vicuna for their wool.
I actually thought the vicuna looked cuter than llamas, as they seem to have a funny expression on their face. This guy does have ears, but I liked how they seemed to disappear when he looked straight at me. If you want to try to spot some vicuna in the wild, then head to Peru, where they are most common. You can also find them in the Andes in Chile, or if you are lucky even parts of Bolivia and Argentina.