A BABY VICUNA WAS BORN IN OUR REPRODUCTION CENTER

13.08.2020

The baby vicuna is only a few days old - he was born on August 10 at the Reproduction Center for the Rare Animal Species of Moscow Zoo. For about half an hour the calf was lying next to its mother, like a little lump, but then picked himself up and ran after the older relatives.

 
“The delivery went very well; no help from the staff was required. Everything happened during the day, but the mother did not even hide. She immediately licked the baby and began to feed. On the very first day, the staff of the Center examined the calf and made sure that it was absolutely healthy. Now the baby eats well and follows its mother everywhere, “said Svetlana Akulova, General Director of Moscow Zoo.

The Moscow Zoo participates in a program for the conservation of rare vicunas. The father of the calf was brought from Czech Republic, and the mother was born in the Center, she is 10 years old, and this is not her first offspring. In nature, vicunas live in harem groups. A group of a male and several females has also been built at the Center. At the time of childbirth, the male was relocated, since sometimes he can show aggression towards a new member of the group, including the calf. The rest of the females welcomed the newborn baby well. Zoologists say that sometimes it is not easy to organize a harem group in a zoo, because the male may not accept one of the females or the females need time to make friends with each other. But everything was fine in our Reproduction Center; the animals have been living together for a long time and get along well with each other.

 
Vicunas feed on special compound feed, fresh grass, branches, hay, and we give them carrots and beets as a treat.

It was from the vicunas that the alpacas originated from, and were domesticated. But vicunas have remained proud and free inhabitants of the highlands of the Andes, where they were considered sacred animals since ancient times. The Incas called their wool "the golden fleece" or "the rune of gods." During the time of the Incas, more than 2 million animals lived in the Andes; by the middle of the 20th century, there were no more than 6 thousand of them. As a result, in the 70s, a reserve was created in Peru to protect vicunas; after a few years, the sale of their wool was banned all over the world. Vicunas are listed in the IUCN Red List.