Animals & Attractions

We have a small herd of vicuna in our drive-through reserve. Three females and one male - Austria, Coco, Juanita and Ozzy. They joined us in June 2023. 


  • Vicuna were hunted almost to extinction for their wool and meat until the 1960s when Chile and Peru created protected national parks and stopped trade in vicuna wool. Since then, the population has steadily increased
  • They are native to the Andes of South America. They can be found in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Equador and Peru. The environment is harsh - dry and hot during the day and freezing at night
  • Due to the severe habitat in which they live, vicuna are specially adapted to survive there. Their coat is very thick and traps warm air, which is kept close to the body to keep warm at night
  • They are the national animal of Peru, and they are featured on the Peruvian coat of arms
  • Vicuna are the smallest members of the camel family. They are a relative of the llama, and believed to be the wild ancestor of the alpaca
  • Vicuna feed on tough, short grasses that grow in their dry grassland habitats
  • Their lower incisors grow constantly like a rodent’s. They are the only ungulate (hoofed animal) with continuously growing teeth


Here at RZSS, our vicuna are part of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) which ensures a healthy and genetically diverse population.

Like all the animals in our care, our vicuna are amazing ambassadors for their relatives in the wild and help hundreds of thousands of people connect with nature every year. They encourage visitors to learn about the threats facing wildlife and the action they can take to help create a world where nature is protected, valued, and loved.

As a wildlife conservation charity, we care for the animals here at the park and work to protect species at risk around the world. From providing expertise in genetics and veterinary health to protecting wild places with local conservation partners, and even restoring threatened species to the wild, we are active where we are needed most.

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