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Dust Bath in Southern Chile

March 28, 2016

Dust Bath in Southern Chile

- as seen by -

William G. Conway William G. Conway

Guanaco behaviors and youngster care are both elegant and fascinating.

Mother guanaco (Lama guanicöe) rolls delightedly in the thick white dust of Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia while her “chulengo” stands quietly under the watchful eye of a sis or auntie. Baby guanacos are almost insufferably adorable (awful word!), but that doesn’t keep them safe from furriers, save them from slaughter by sheep herders as grazing competitors, or from natural predators like pumas and coyote-like culpeos.

There may once have been 40,000,000 guanacos, almost as many as North American bison and pronghorn antelope. Today, there are thought to be about 450,000.

I used a Nikon D300s with a 80-400 zoom lens and sat hidden in a dense algarrobillo bush, which I discovered has very sharp thorns—but I can sit down now.

Nikon D300s, 400mm lens


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