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softest and warmest

softest and warmest
Photo Information
Copyright: michael shalter (retlash) Silver Note Writer [C: 1 W: 1 N: 67] (284)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-09-25
Categories: Mammals
Exposure: f/3.5, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-12-11 16:13
Viewed: 11746
Points: 2
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
You are looking at a young vicuna (Vicugna vicugna), one of the two wild camelids of South America, along with the guanaco. In 1974, about only 6000 vicunas remained, due to illegal poaching. Today their number has risen to 125000 or more. Their coats are comprised of insulating hairs softer and warmer than any other animal's. Prices of woven fabric range from US$1800- $3000 per yard!
At present, the Peruvian government has a labelling system that identifies all garmets that have been created through a government sanctioned "chacu". This
system guarantees that the animal was captured, sheared alive, and returned to the wild, and cannot be sheared for another two years. Nevertheless, up to 50,000 pounds of vicuna wool per year are exported as a result of illegal activities. The vicuna scarf I bought at a government-controlled shop in Arequipa observed these controls, and provided me with a half-dozen stamps and a lot of paperwork to prove it. I can attest that vicuna wool is the softest and warmest thing that my skin has ever touched. Alpaca, while soft, wanes in comparison. And "scratchy" virgin lambswool...forget it!

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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Michael,

Very nice portrait of this vicuna. Good sharpness and colours. Beautiful eyes :-)
It would have been beter with a darker background (too high luminosity).
I come back with the points

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