Huancabamba, Peru, February 15, 2009--People gather around the disfigured bodies of vicuñas that were allegedly killed by poachers.
More than 150 of the creatures, native to the Andes, were found dead near the highland town of Huancabamba. They had been shot and skinned, presumably for their highly prized wool.
In Inca society it was against the law for anyone other than nobility to wear vicuña garments. Later, decades of poaching brought the animals to the brink of extinction. But conservation efforts since the 1960s, such as establishing a wildlife reserve in Peru, have boosted populations up to 200,000.