Antarctica and Patagonia, Chile – Wildlife

Puma

After shooting sunrises the first two days in and around Torres del Paine National Park, we went looking for puma before heading back to the hotel for breakfast. They are most active early in the morning and late in the day. Like many nocturnal wildlife, they tend to lay low during mid-day. We had our expert puma guide with us for those days. Puma, as they are called in South America, is what we call mountain lions in the Western United States from Texas to Canada. The only confirmed location in the East is in Florida where they are called panthers. They are also called cougars elsewhere. They hold the Guinness World Record for having the most names…about 40 in English alone….of any other living mammal. What they are called depends on their location.

Pumas feast on llama, vicuna and alpaca along with pets, birds and various rodents. The guanaco is one of it’s main food sources. It’s a member of the camel and llama family. It’s also a relative of the vicuna in northern South America. The guanaco are generally approachable. If you walk up to them slowly they’ll usually let you get reasonable close.

Guanaco
A large group of guanaco grazing.

We also stumbled across this large corral full of sheep with the gaucho’s horses tied to a neighboring fence. These aren’t exacting wildlife but there sure is a lot of them here.

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I got one image of a condor but it’s so high and far away that I’m not going to post it. You can’t tell if it has a ten foot wing span or a two foot wing span. (It has a 10-11 foot wing span.) I did get this black-breasted, buzzard eagle, though.

This black-breasted, buzzard eagle is part of the hawk family.

Lastly, while sitting in the van at a campground, this red fox zipped across the parking lot and headed for the woods.

It’s not a great image but it was a quick grab through the front window of the van.

My final image from my trip is this one. This is also my last post from my trip to Antarctica and Patagonia, Chile.

Once again, thanks for following my blog!

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