Their wool is finer than any other in the world. Paradoxically the fine fur, which ensured their survival in an extremely demanding habitat over thousands of years, nearly brought an end to the species. Vicuñas - sacred in Inca times, later hunted close to extinction - a story of downfall and glory of both a species and a human culture alike.
But this is not only a story of human exploitation and miraculous survival. It is also an intimate portrait of a lively and beautiful animal living in the breathtaking surroundings of the High Andes, the mightiest mountains on the American continent. The camera follows both the serene and dramatic moments in the life of a vicuña family: battling males, courtship, mating and birth. And also narrow escapes from predators, such as the powerful puma.
Despite their harsh surroundings and their daily fight for survival, the situation for the vicuñas has not been better for centuries. Vicuña coats appear again on the catwalks of the most exclusive European fashion shows, but wild vicuña populations are recovering since - following an old Inca tradition - they are rounded up and carefully shorn alive.