Vicugnas Have Winter All Wrapped Up

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Blackpool Zoo’s newest arrival is ready for whatever the weather throws at us this winter! The baby Vicugna was born on Monday 7th October, and, as its species hails from the freezing mountains of the Andes, it has a special thick coat made out of the world’s finest wool.

Vicugna Blackpool Zoo

Mother and baby Vicugna

Being born at this time of year won’t pose any problems for the baby as they come from a much colder climate and their beautiful ‘custom made coats’ are perfect for the winter!

Blackpool Zoo’s newest arrival is ready for whatever the weather throws at us this winter!

The baby Vicugna was born on Monday 7th October, and, as its species hails from the freezing mountains of the Andes, it has a special thick coat made out of the world’s finest wool.

After an eleven-month pregnancy, mother Rosa gave birth to the healthy female calf, which is her second with father Manno.

Weighing in at just 6kg, the baby will stay with its parents for around 12 months before moving to another zoo to be part of the European breeding programme.

Paula Mulvany, Head Keeper at Blackpool Zoo, said: “We are delighted to announce the arrival of a healthy Vicugna calf, which has rounded off a super summer season here at Blackpool Zoo.

“The birth was natural and uncomplicated and both are doing very well. Being born at this time of year won’t pose any problems for the baby as they come from a much colder climate and their beautiful ‘custom made coats’ are perfect for the winter!”

Hunting of Vicugna saw their numbers drop to just 6,000 in the wild in the late 60’s, which led to it being declared endangered in 1974. The trading of Vicugna wool was prohibited and a nature conservatory was created and now numbers stand at around 125,000.

The Peruvian government oversees a sanctioned ‘chacu’ system of collecting the world’s finest wool from Vicugnas in the wild.

It guarantees that the animal is herded, sheared and returned to the wild and cannot be shorn again for two years. A strict labeling system is in place for wool and a large proportion of the profits go to the villagers in the area.

Blackpool Zoo is home to three Vicugnas, including the baby, and another breeding female is set to join the group in the next couple of weeks.

Ends

Picture shows: The new baby Vicugna and mother shortly after birth.

More information about Blackpool Zoo:
Blackpool Zoo celebrated its busiest year to date in 2012, which was also its 40th anniversary.

Blackpool Zoo is owned by Parques Reunidos, the second largest European leisure parks operator and a leading world-wide player. The zoo is home to over 1,500 mammals, birds, reptiles and invertebrates set amidst thirty-two acres of mature woodland and lakes.

The zoo’s signature animals include elephants, giraffes, big cats, gorillas, orang-utans, sea lions, primates, zebras and kangaroos. It is open every day of the year, apart from Christmas Day, from 10am.

For further information please contact:
Julie(at)icgonline(dot)co.uk or rachael(at)icgonline(dot)co.uk

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Paula Holden
ICG PR
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Julie Hackett
ICG PR
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