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Vicuña Round-Ups Bring Big Bucks In Bolivia
Unprocessed wool from the vicuña, the smallest of the South American camelids, fetches between $300 and $500 a kilogram (about $140-$230 a pound). The fiber is highly prized by the world of fashion, and has been used to make suits for movie stars like Daniel Craig and tycoons like Donald Trump.
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In this Oct. 7 2013 photo, wild vicunas stand grouped in a temporary corral before being released inside the Apolobamba protected nature reserve, the animal's natural habitat near the Andean village of Ucha Ucha, Bolivia. Every two years, Aymara Indian families near Ucha Ucha organize to shear the wool of these wild vicuna, a camelid that lives in the Andes' highland areas. Unprocessed wool from the vicuna, the smallest of the South American camelids, fetches between $300 and $500 a kilogram (about $140-$230 a pound). (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
(AP2013)

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In this Oct. 8, 2013 photo, wild vicuna run inside a temporary corral inside the Apolobamba protected nature reserve, their natural habitat near the Andean village of Ucha Ucha, Bolivia. The vicuna are an endangered species previously hunted by poachers for their fine wool. Today Bolivia protects them in this reserve, sheering and selling the wool worldwide without killing the animal. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
(AP2013)

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In this Oct. 8, 2013 photo, Aymara Indian women try to grab wild vicuna for shearing inside a temporary corral inside the Apolobamba protected nature reserve, the animal's natural habitat near the village of Ucha Ucha, Bolivia. Ucha Ucha residents say they made about $300 per family in the last shearing in 2011 and expect to make about the same this year. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
(AP2013)

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In this Oct. 8, 2013 photo, wild vicuna move around inside a temporary corral inside the Apolobamba protected nature reserve, the animal's natural habitat near the village of Ucha Ucha, Bolivia. Every two years, about a hundred men and women from Ucha Ucha come together for the biennial vicuna shearing, which lasts four days. Vicunas were once hunted to near extinction but now hunting them is forbidden and the Aymara shear and release the animals. The vicuna population has rebounded. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
(AP2013)

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In this Oct. 8, 2013 photo, wild vicuna stand as they are temporarily corralled into an area by Aymarma Indians inside the Apolobamba protected nature reserve, the animal's natural habitat near the Andean village of Ucha Ucha, Bolivia. Vicunas were once hunted to near extinction but now hunting them is forbidden and the Aymara shear and release the animals. The vicuna population has rebounded. While llamas and alpacas have been domesticated, the vicuna still lives in the wild. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
(AP2013)

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In this Oct. 7, 2013 photo, Aymara Indian women create a human wall to keep wild vicunas from escaping from a temporary corral inside the Apolobamba protected natural area near the Andean village of Ucha Ucha, Bolivia. Every two years, about a hundred men and women from Ucha Ucha come together for the biennial vicuna shearing, which lasts four days. First, they make an offering to the Pachamama (Mother Earth), then the motorcycles herd the animals into a corral made with sticks and netting, where the vicunas are held for about five hours before they are released. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
(AP2013)

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In this Oct. 7, 2013 photo, an Aymara Indian shears a wild vicuna inside the Apolobamba protected nature reserve, the animal's natural habitat near the Andean village of Ucha Ucha, Bolivia. Unprocessed wool from the vicuna, the smallest of the South American camelids, fetches between $300 and $500 a kilogram (about $140-$230 a pound). The fiber is highly prized by the world of fashion, and has been used to make suits for movie stars like Daniel Craig and tycoons like Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
(AP2013)

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In this Oct. 7, 2013 photo, Aymara Indians hold down a wild vicuna to shear its wool inside the Apolobamba protected nature reserve, the animal's natural habitat near the Andean village of Ucha Ucha, Bolivia. Two men hold each vicuna down while another shears its fur. With luck they can gather 40 kilograms (nearly 90 pounds) of wool in a day. Before we sheared them every year, but now we do it every two years because the hairs are so small. The profits are divided among the communitys members and it is a great help because at this altitude nothing grows, said Gregorio Blanco, head of the shearers. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
(AP2013)

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In this Oct. 7, 2013 photo, an Aymara Indian woman holds down the head of a wild vicuna while it is sheared inside the Apolobamba protected nature reserve, the animal's natural habitat near the Andean village of Ucha Ucha, Bolivia. Ucha Ucha is 14,800 feet (4,500 meters) above sea level in the Apolobamba nature reserve, 167 miles (269 kilometers) northwest of the Bolivian capital of La Paz. Every two years, about a hundred men and women from Ucha Ucha come together for the biennial vicuna shearing, which lasts four days. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
(AP2013)

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In this Oct. 8, 2013 photo, an Aymara Indian woman carries her son on her back as she keeps watch over wild vicuna inside a temporary corral inside the Apolobamba protected nature reserve, the animal's natural habitat near the Andean village of Ucha Ucha, Bolivia. Ucha Ucha is 14,800 feet (4,500 meters) above sea level in the Apolobamba nature reserve, 167 miles (269 kilometers) northwest of the Bolivian capital of La Paz. The icy wind and burning sun at this altitude slice and bake the skin of the areas indigenous residents. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
(AP2013)

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In this Oct. 8, 2013 photo, freshly sheared wild vicunas group in corral before their release inside the Apolobamba protected nature reserve, the animal's natural habitat near the Andean village of Ucha Ucha, Bolivia. The residents of Ucha Ucha used to form giant human cordons to corner the animals and harvest their fine fur, which produces one of the worlds most expensive wools. But noe the residents use motorcycles, ideal on the flat, treeless landscape of Bolivias altiplano. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
(AP2013)

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In this Oct. 8, 2013 photo, Aymara Indians on motorbikes herd wild vicuna into a temporary corral inside the Apolobamba protected nature reserve, their natural habitat near the Andean village of Ucha Ucha, Bolivia. The residents of Ucha Ucha used to form giant human cordons to corner the animals and harvest their fine fur, which produces one of the worlds most expensive wools. But motorcycles are ideal on the flat, treeless landscape of Bolivias altiplano. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

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In this Oct. 8, 2013 photo, Aymara Indians on motorbikes herd wild vicuna for the corralling and shearing bi-annual event at the Apolobamba protected natural area in the Andean village of Ucha Ucha, Bolivia. The roar of about 70 motorcycles shatters the quiet of the wind-swept Andean plain as Aymara villagers conduct a frenetic chase to round up wild vicunas for shearing. The residents of Ucha Ucha used to form giant human cordons to corner the animals and harvest their fine fur, which produces one of the worldís most expensive wools. But motorcycles are ideal on the flat, treeless landscape of Boliviaís altiplano. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

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In this Oct. 7, 2013 photo, Aymara Indian women set up a net to temporarily coral wild vicuna inside the Apolobamba protected nature reserve, the animal's natural habitat near the village of Ucha Ucha, Bolivia. Unprocessed wool from the vicuna, the smallest of the South American camelids, fetches between $300 and $500 a kilogram (about $140-$230 a pound). The fiber is highly prized by the world of fashion, and has been used to make suits for movie stars like Daniel Craig and tycoons like Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
(AP2013)

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In this Oct. 7, 2013 photo, Aymara Indian men carry a wild vicuna to shear its wool with scissors inside the Apolobamba protected nature reserve, the animal's natural habitat near the Andean village of Ucha Ucha, Bolivia. The vicuna are an endangered species previously hunted by poachers for their fine wool. Today Bolivia protects them in this reserve, sheering and selling the wool worldwide without killing the animal. According to the families, they sell the wool through the country's national wool organization and split the money evenly, which in 2011 was about $300 dollars per family. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
(AP2013)

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In this Oct. 7, 2013 photo, Aymara Indian families count the wool they sheared from wild vicuna inside the Apolobamba protected nature reserve, the animal's natural habitat near the Andean village of Ucha Ucha, Bolivia. These families work together to sheer the vicuna every two years and sell the wool through Bolivia's national wool organization and split the money evenly. The families said they earned $300 dollars each during the last shearing season in 2011. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
(AP2013)

Vicuña Round-Ups Bring Big Bucks In Bolivia

Unprocessed wool from the vicuña, the smallest of the South American camelids, fetches between $300 and $500 a kilogram (about $140-$230 a pound). The fiber is highly prized by the world of fashion, and has been used to make suits for movie stars like Daniel Craig and tycoons like Donald Trump.

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