The birth of a vicuña in the capital ZOO

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A Vicuña from the Warsaw ZOO
Author: Emilia Gryziecka, wolontariusz Warszawskiego ZOO

The Warsaw ZOO welcomed a new member of the hoofed herd – a male vicuña. The little fellow was born in August in front of the visitors, but under the watchful eye of its caretakers.

The vicuña is the son of Freya and Kim. After about 350 days of pregnancy, the birth took place in no time and the baby quickly got on its skinny legs and began to drink the mother's milk, which meant that it was in excellent condition.

The Andean vicuña comes from South America, and its image is included in Peru's coat of arms. It's one of the smallest members of the Camelidae family: with a body weight of 35-45 kg.

The vicuña is the wild ancestor of the domesticated alpaca. So how does it differ from an alpaca? First of all in terms of colouring - vicuñas are beige with a light-headed bottom of the body, and alpacas come in many colours: from white, through beige and brown, up to black, and there are also spotted, black-and-tan, and marked ones. Vicuñas also have a thinner but very dense coat. Unlike the Alpacas, vicuñas - as wild animals - are also very distrustful and timid. They are not suitable for typical home breeding.

The Warsaw ZOO is home to both vicuñas and alpacas. The enclosures of both species are close to each other.

New toddlers in the ZOO

The vicuña is not the only animal that joined the group of pupils of the Warsaw ZOO. The facility also became the home of recently born alpacas, sika deer, kea parrots, ruffs, Tibetan geese, and poisonous dart frogs.