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“Pic of the Week”. January 11, 2013. Alpaca herd, near Sullustani National Monument, Peru

2013-002-January 11

This photo was taken on the high altitude plateau (Altiplano) of Peru located over 13,000 ft (4,000 m) above sea level, not far from Lake Titicaca.  Given the high altitude, agriculture is limited, mostly potatoes and livestock (sheep, llamas, alpacas).  My brother and I were en-route from Puno to the Sullustani National Monument when we encountered this herd of alpacas.  We decided to stop for a photo and cautiously approached the herd.

These alpacas were very curious but leery of us.  The large white woolly alpaca in the left foreground of the photo was the alpha male and was of bad temperament.   He charged at us twice wanting to spit on us (which usually involves regurgitated stomach contents, a type of projectile vomiting really), but fortunately didn’t hit us as he was chased away by our heroic guide.  We took the beast’s not too subtle hint and continued on our journey, but not before I snapped this photo.  I like the pastoral setting of the image and how uniquely South American it is.

(Click on thumbnail to enlarge)

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