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High demand for luxury wool prompts poachers to slaughter vicunas

High demand for luxury wool prompts poachers to slaughter vicunas

Vicunas, the wild Andean relatives of camels, are being hunted mercilessly by poachers as the price of the animals' luxuriantly soft hair, coveted by European and Asian apparel makers for coats, scarves and shawls, goes through the roof. Police last month found 150 carcasses of skinned vicunas in the high altitude Peruvian village of Espite, providing grisly evidence of the menace to the South American mountain mammals, which also are related to llamas and alpacas. The killing of the animals was a blow to the 70 indigenous families in Espite who derive their livelihoods from sustainable management of the creatures. By corralling and shearing vicunas as they migrate from watering...

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