We came across a baby guanaco that was stuck in a fence near Lago Argentino. There were half a dozen other guanacos nearby, including the Mom and a rather alert looking male. Vivian watched these two to make sure they didn’t try to attack me while I tried to figure out how to approach and un-wedge the baby guanaco from the fence.
Approaching the guanaco at first made her struggle ferociously, making me back off several times. Already completely exhausted, it didn’t take long before I was able to reach out and touch one leg, and then the other.
Touching the feet of the guanaco was so interesting. The bottom of the feet had soft,leathery pads and a smooth texture, completely taking me by surprise. I don’t remember any sharp toes, but was also trying not to get kicked!
The guanaco’s legs were caught behind two wires, locking the legs just below their rearward folding knee and just above the ankle. The animal itself was high-centered right on her hip flexors, front feet just touching the ground. For each rear leg I had to move the upper wire above the knee so I could flex each leg enough to then move each ankle above the lower wire.
Once the legs were free, I was able to carefully boost the animal by both legs over Uall of the wires. The baby had been there for so long that her legs were very asleep, and they were not working at all like she wanted them to. She immediately took a huge bound, but got just enough movement to turn her body around 180 degrees and launch her crashing straight into the fence from the opposite direction (not once, but twice).
After she realized her legs were not working, she was able to wobble across the road and hobble over a lower ridge and out of sight.
Extending above the smaller ridge was a larger ridge, rolling up into the sky. As our attention drifted away from the baby guanaco, we realized that scattered across the larger ridge were several dozen adult and baby guanacos, all bounding with nervous excitement and watching us and the rescued guanaco. It seemed to me that once the others saw that the baby guanaco bounding along more normally, they all turned as one and bounded up the ridge and out of site, within a matter of less than the span of a few breaths. Such wonderful creatures!