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ALMA Observatory's new fawn

ALMA Observatory staff interceded to protect this abandoned vicuña fawn when it was being chased by foxes. After failing to reintroduce the fawn to its herd, they stuck it in their truck and brought it back to the observatory.

Illustration for article titled ALMA Observatorys new fawn

A very lucky young vicuña fawn rescued by observatory staff. Image credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), R. Durán

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is in Chile's Atacama desert. At 5,000 meters above sea level in thin, dry desert-mountain air, the 66 high-precision antennas pick millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths to peek at old, distant galaxies. After touring the observatory camp, the vicuña was transferred to Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center at the Universidad de Antofagasta. The vicuña will undergo rehabilitation, with plans for release back into the desert next year.


Still not enough Awwwww for you? Have a video of the fawn nuzzling its new friends:

More photographs and a formal press release up on the ALMA observatory website.

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Mika McKinnon

Vicuña are an endangered wild camelid, national animal of Peru and ancestors of the domesticated alpaca. They rank as animal-geologists, seeking out calcareous rocks to lick. The more you know! (Seriously, look at those tiny hoofs! So much squee.)