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Guanaco Fighting

According to the strict rules of the animal world, a male has to win the coveted female in a fight


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Guanaco is a South American camel without a hump—a slender, graceful animal with big eyes, long eyelashes, and big but very mobile ears. It looks like an antelope with a long neck and is able to run rather fast. The skill is helpful during the peak of austral summer (early December and early January) when mating season begins. At that time, there are fierce fighting matches between males. Guanacos stand up on their hind legs and fight each other with a lot of passion. There are even "dirty" techniques such as biting and spitting in the eyes of opponents. The winner gets the coveted female and immediately rushes to the next battle.

Known as the largest herbivorous animal in South America, Guanaco eats everything that belongs to plant foods and may go without water for a long time. Guanacos are found in open areas—from the Pampas to the highlands of the Andes, including Argentina as well as Chile, Peru, and Bolivia, and a small population is also found in Paraguay. Still, some of the best places to watch the animals are Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego that spreads across both Chile and Argentina. Another good place to spot Guanacos in Argentina is the Valdes Peninsula.

Unfortunately, the number of Guanacos is gradually declining. They are a tasty prey for pumas, the largest predator of Patagonia. The main reason is still people who hunt them for their valuable wool, leather, as well as delicious meat.

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