This cute creature is a Viscacha. A bit like a big rabbit with a long tail, they live amongst the rocks in high altitude regions of Peru, Bolivia and Chile.
Gold medal in Nature at the Trierenberg Super Circuit competition in Austria 2010
Gold Award at the International Aperture Awards 2010
He/She (not sure which) is a Mountain Viscacha, a member of the Rodent family. This one is a wild animal, free to do as it pleases, but he’s quite happy living amongst the rocks around the Conaf Ranger Station at the Salar de Surire National Monument in far northern Chile.
This is a very remote part of the world and very few people would pass this way, so I think the Viscacha have learned to tolerate the human intrusion.
They’re diurnal, but their diet consists of grass, not very nutritious grass, so they spend most of their time asleep.
When I found him he was asleep. I had him framed in the camera, thinking that he has to move eventually. And he did. He stretched out his tiny arms and yawned and then promptly fell back to sleep.
It was all over in a second and I had just enough time for one shot.
Canon 5D Mark II
An old 100-300mm Canon lens at 300mm
1/500 second at f/5.6
Captured in Raw
I’ve introduced some vignetting around the edges and applied a curve in Photoshop CS4 but otherwise the image is as taken.
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