Three Maned Wolf puppies were born at Pueblo Zoo in Colorado. The new arrivals were born on February 23rd to first-time parents Cayenne (the female) and Meek (the male). The puppies were delivered in the same den where their grandfather, Cayenne’s father, was born.
Born in the wild or in captivity, survival rate is low for Maned Wolf puppies, and the first few weeks are critical. However, the Pueblo Zoo Staff are cautiously optimistic about the survival of these puppies.
Native to central South America, Maned Wolves are ranked by the IUCN as near threatened, due to habitat loss and degradation. Maned Wolves are the only known living member of their genus, making them very unique canines. The are named for the dark mane of hair along the neck and shoulders that can be raised in agression or fear. Standing nearly a meter tall, adult Maned Wolves look similar to Red Foxes, but are easily identified by their exceptionally long and thin legs. Instead of ranging in packs, Maned Wolves are solitary, or may live in monogamous pairs. They eat fruits as well as small animals.
The species is managed across the country though the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan. The Species Survival Plan ensures that there is genetic diversity among animals in AZA accredited institutions to ensure the best possible pairings for breeding. In the US, there are ninety-two wolves known to the SSP, and overall, there are only fourteen breeding pairs of maned wolves in AZA institutions. The Pueblo Zoo puppies are the only surviving Maned Wolf pups born so far this season.
See more photos after the fold.