Thanks for posting those great photos and the alpaca link. I try to check out every alpaca-related site I come across, because I do love the little fuzzballs, and it helps me to planmy breeding if I know what coat colors US breeders do not have.
Ah, yes, and now for something completely different--well, not really that different. [size=7][b]The Guanaco[/b][/size] See pix below.
Guanacos are members of the Camelid family, along with Llamas and Alpacas. They are indigenous to the Andean areas of South America and Ecuador and are numerous in the comparatively low mountains of the Cordillera del Andes in Tierra del Fuego (Patagonia) in the southern tip of Argentina. They look much like alpacas, but are smaller and have more delicate facial features. Their wool is even more prized than that of alpacas: lighter and softer (if you can imagine that!). Only vicuna wool is more sought after.
Guanacos are essentially still wild, although there are a few very small breeders in T del F, Arg. Although these fuzzballs live in small social groups and are quite curious, they are close to impossible to catch in the wild. They run at about 35-40 MPH, stotting every dozen yards or so, and seem to have the ability to climb vertical mountain walls at will. I once literally ran out of gas in a Land Rover in T del F while chasing two guanacos. Wanted to see them up close and personal. Not today, chico.
Vicunas are also Andean dwellers with greatest population in Bolivia at altitudes from 14,000 to 18,000 feet. One climber reported a sighting at >20,000 ft. Vicunas are a protected species throughout the region, and I know of no commercial breeders or wool harvesters. But if you look and scratch around the Altiplano, you can usually find someone with a stash of wool for sale.[/color]