From a distance, the steppes of Patagonia seem to be dry and barren, but the grasses sustain a number of unusual species. For me, the guanaco were the most interesting. I am used to seeing deer and at first, these look like deer.
They are very alert when a car approaches. If you get out of the car, they are easily spooked and flee. They are elegant and fast as they run. For some reason, they don’t always run away, but rather cross the road in front of your vehicle. Compared to the car, they run about forty miles per hour. When they chew grass, they look like a camel. The Latin name for the species is Lama guanicoe. Their cousin is the llama or alpaca. They were hunted by the Indians and later almost obliterated by European hunters and ranchers. Now, there are lots of them in the national parks and out on the open range. They tend to group up at the water holes and better pasture areas. We would see them as we drove to and from fishing the Rio Gallego and whenever we traveled in Tierra del Fuego. Because it was springtime, there were lots of youngsters.
- Argentina 2
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