Photo Credits: Little Rock Zoo / Video Credit: Maggie Quinn
Three Maned Wolf pups are the newest additions at the Little Rock Zoo. The trio was born December 21 to parents Gabby and Diego. The two females and their brother currently weigh around two pounds each.
Zoo visitors to the Laura P. Nichols Cheetah Outpost may have recently noticed “Quiet Please” signs on one of the observation decks. Gabby’s den is beneath the deck, and keepers want to help the new family enjoy their bonding time.
“We don’t want to stress her out,” said Debbie Thompson, Carnivores Curator at the Zoo. “For example, if there were too much noise on the deck, we wouldn’t want her to bring the pups out in the cold.”
Thompson said it would likely be six more weeks before Zoo guests can hope to see the pups in the exhibit. However, she notes that a lucky few may catch a glimpse of them before then.
“Gabby has already moved all three out into one of the huts. She stayed there all day then moved them all back to the den,” Thompson said.
Those who catch sight of the pups now might think they look like a different species from the parents. At birth they’re covered in black fur with white-tipped tails, while their parents resemble foxes on stilts.
The Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) is the largest canid of South America. Its markings resemble those of foxes, but it is not a fox, nor is it a wolf, as it is not closely related to other canids. It is the only species in the genus Chrysocyon (meaning "golden dog").
Adults have the thick red coat, tall erect ears, pointed muzzle and white-tipped tails of foxes, but long slender black legs.
Native to South America’s forests, grasslands, savannas, marshes and wetlands, these omnivorous animals eat fruits*, vegetables, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians as well as birds and insects.
*(According to Little Rock Zoo keepers, Gabby and Diego’s favorite fruit is bananas!)