What is the Difference Between a Llama and a Vicuña and How do you Tell Them Apart?

The vicuña is a wild South American camelid which lives in the high alpine areas of the Andes.

vicuña

It is a relative of the llama, and the vicuña is believed to be the wild ancestor or relative of domesticated alpacas, which are raised for their fibre.

The vicuña is smaller and more graceful than the llama, with a slightly shorter head and neck.

In South America the vicuña is used primarily for its wool which is very soft and warm when knitted together.

Vicuña wool is very expensive because the animal produces small amounts of extremely fine wool can only be shaved every 3 years.

Since it’s wild, many Peruvian towns hold annual catch and shear festivals where all the men go out and round up the wild llamas, bring them into city corrals, and shave them.

Sounds like some frat parties we’ve heard about in your area.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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