Zoo Praha, in the Czech Republic, welcomed their second Guanaco birth of the year. The new baby was born September 10th and has been enjoying the zoo’s outdoor exhibit with mom.
The Guanaco (Lama guanicoe) is a camelid native to the mountainous regions of South America. Llamas are descendants of wild Guanacos that were domesticated 6,000 to 7,000 years ago. Andean peoples raise Guanacos for wool, meat, and skin and also utilize them as pack animals.
They are one of the largest wild mammal species found in South America. They generally stand between 3 ft. 3 inches to 3 ft. 11 inches (1.0 and 1.2 m) at the shoulder and weigh about 200 pounds (90 kg).
Guanaco live in herds composed of females, their young, and a dominant male. Bachelor males form separate herds. When feeling threatened, Guanacos alert the herd to flee using a high-pitched, bleating call. The male usually runs behind the herd to defend them. They are known to run at 35 mph (56 km/per hour).
Gestation for the Guanaco is about 11.5 months, with offspring being able to walk immediately after birth. Young Guanaco are called ‘chulengos’. Male chulengos are chased away from the herd at around one year of age.
The Guanaco is classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List. Aside from being occasionally hunted by man, their natural predators include: cougars, jaguars, and foxes.