Maned Wolf

Two Maned Wolf Pups Call Little Rock Zoo Home

1558551_929109287100404_8660251377773110290_nTwo Maned Wolf pups were born December 21st at the Little Rock Zoo and are growing strong! 


1511159_929109293767070_8720081837232425976_nPhoto Credits: Paul Caster

The pups’ parents are ‘Gabby’ and ‘Diego’. Gabby occasionally takes her pups out into the yard of her exhibit, allowing visitors to catch a glimpse every so often. The pups are expected to fully be out on exhibit in the next two to three months.

The Maned Wolf is a South American native whose range extends from the Amazon basin rain forest in Brazil to the dry shrub forests of Paraguay and northern Argentina.

Maned Wolves have chestnut red pelage over rather large bodies, and black pelage on their long, slender legs, feet and muzzle. They have long red fur covering necks, backs, and chests which they can stand on end to give the appearance of a mane.

The Maned Wolf also differs from true North American wolves in diet and temperament. These gentle and very timid wolves are solitary by nature. Only during the breeding season would you generally see more than one at a time.

The Maned Wolf is omnivorous, eating a combination of fruits, vegetables and meat. It often preys on small birds, rodents and frogs, and favors fruits such as bananas, apples and avocados.

The Maned Wolf is misunderstood and widely persecuted. For years it was hunted and killed by farmers who believed that the wolves were killing their poultry and livestock. The Maned Wolf’s small teeth and jaws make it hard for it to kill large prey, but it is often blamed because of its intimidating size.

The Maned Wolf is listed as near threatened in its native range. This listing is due to loss of habitat by encroaching human populations, the introduction of certain diseases and a belief that certain of its organs have medicinal healing powers.

The development of a Species Survival Plan (SSP) has enabled the breeding of Maned Wolves in captivity. The SSP program aims to pair up genetically significant individuals to produce offspring with the greatest genetic variation.

It's Twin Maned Wolf Pups for the Smithsonian Institute

Wolf twins 1

The onset of summer for the Animal Care staff at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va., means patiently awaiting endangered-animal births, hand raising youngsters, and saying farewell to cubs that are ready to be matched with mates. All of the species—which range in International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List status from near threatened to endangered—are significant and represent great conservation successes.

One of the new births of these important animals were two male Maned Wolf pups, born on April 14 to 2-year-old female Vitani and 8-year-old male, Paul. The pups received a clean bill of health at their first veterinary exam, appearing robust and healthy. Keepers have nicknamed the pups “Bold” and “Shy” for their distinctive personalities. 

Only 85 Maned Wolves are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan, and these pups account for 40 percent of successful Maned Wolf births in the United States this year. A leader in Maned Wolf conservation, SCBI has had 74 pups born there since 1975—more than any other institution.

Wolf solo

Wolf twins tilt
Photo Credit: Janice Sveda

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A Sneak Peek at Pueblo Zoo's Maned Wolf Puppies

Maned worlf 1

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.

Maned wolf 2

Maned wolf 3
Photo credits: Pueblo Zoo

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. 

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UPDATE: Maned Wolf Pups Come Out of Hiding to Visit the Vet


Two Maned Wolf Pups born at the Czech Republic’s Zoo Liberec on January 10 had their first visit to the veterinarian this week to receive vaccinations and determine their gender.  The pair, a male and a female, was proclaimed in excellent health by the veterinary staff. 

The pups, who were profiled on ZooBorns last month, weighed only about a pound (.5 kg) at birth, but they have rapidly gained weight.  At the exam, each weighed more than six pounds (2.8 kg). The pups are the first Maned Wolves ever born at Zoo Liberec.




Photo Credits:  Zoo Liberec

Native to South America, Maned Wolves are unique among canids.  They are distinguished by long legs, a bushy mane which is erected when the Wolf is threatened, and a skunk-like odor.  Maned Wolves live solitary lives roaming the grasslands of central South America.  They eat small mammals as well as tubers, fruits, and sugarcane.

Maned Wolves are listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), but in some parts of their range, notably in Uruguay, this species may be nearly extirpated (locally extinct). 


Maned Wolf Pups Romp in the Snow at Zoo Liberec

For the first time in its history, Zoo Liberec in the Czech Republic welcomed a litter of Maned Wolf pups to their institution. After a two month gestation, mother Samantha gave birth to four pups back on January 10th. However, after two of the original four litter-mates failed to survive, zoo officials waited to ensure that the second two pups were in good health before announcing the birth to the public.

Although the newborns weighed only around 16 ounces at birth, this small size won't last long. The pair will be grow rapidly until they reach their full grown size of between 45 and 75 pounds at one year of age. The two curious pups have begun to venture out of their indoor den and into the publicly visible exhibit. With a little patience, visitors may be able to catch a glimpse of the adventurous duo.


Photo Credit: Zoo LIberec

The Maned Wolf, the tallest of any wild canid, is native to South America. Due to its reddish-brown coloration, the Maned Wolf is often mistakenly thought to be related to the red fox. In fact, the Maned Wolf is not closely related to any living canid and is classified as its own genus, Chrysocyon. Making its home in the open and semi-open grasslands of the eastern portion of central South America, the Manned Wolf feasts on a omnivorous diet including small to medium sized prey such as rodents and fish, and a variety vegetable matter. The Manned Wolf population currently has a modest number of individuals. Despite this however, primarily due to habitat loss, the species is listed as "near threatened" by the IUCN.

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Three Little Wolf Pups


Maned Wolves at Sweden's Nordens Ark Zoo had two pups in late January; one male and two females. The zoo's breeding pair is a key pair in the Maned Wolf breeding program worldwide, making this birth especially important for conservation. Maned Wolf pups are born all black, and gradually change color as they grow older. By around six months of age, they'll be nearly completely reddish brown. The pups will remain close to their mother in their den for now, but by spring visitors should have a chance to see them in person.


Photo credit: Tom Svensson/Nordens Ark

Maned Wolves come from South America and are currently listed as vulnerable to extinction on the IUCN Red List.

Four Maned Wolf Pups For The Smithsonian!


Although 2012 has only just begun, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia (SCBI-FR), already has something to celebrate in the new year: the birth of four Maned Wolf pups Jan. 5. It is the first litter born at SCBI-FR in two years and will play an important role in helping researchers maintain a viable, self-sustaining population under human care.

“Every pup born here helps us understand more about the biology of this incredible species,” said Nucharin Songsasen, an SCBI research biologist. “SCBI has a long history with the Maned Wolf, both in terms of studying the biology and maintaining the genetic diversity of individuals living under human care, as well as in conserving the animals in the wild.”



Photo credit: Lisa Ware, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

The four pups were born to mother, 8-year-old Salina, and father, 4-year-old Nopal, who was born at SCBI-FR. Maned Wolf pups have a 50 percent mortality rate in the first month, so keepers are monitoring them closely. This litter is particularly valuable because Nopal is the 10th most genetically valuable male among the 36 reproductively viable males in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Maned Wolf Species Survival Plan, which matches animals across the country to ensure genetic diversity in the population. Seventy-two maned wolf pups have been born at SCBI-FR since 1975, and the facility currently has 12 wolves, including the pups. The National Zoo has two maned wolves on exhibit at the Cheetah Conservation Station.

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Little Sister Wolf Pup Is Ready to Be Named


On February 6th, The Natural Science Center of Greensboro, North Carolina, welcomed three endangered Maned Wolf Pups. The Center's breeding pair Lana and Nazca are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium's Maned Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP). You can visit the NSC's Maned Wolf blog to follow the progress of these cubs and to learn more about how you can help this species in the wild. Two of the pups, Vincent and Bonita, were named. The NSC is now holding a contest to name the third pup. Entries are accepted in person only, and we'll keep you posted on the winning name.  The choices are below the fold along with many more adorable photos of the pups.




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Houston's Maned Wolf Pups Are All Ears


Dora and Diego, Houston Zoo's Maned Wolf pups are growing fast, but perhaps not as fast as their ears!  The two were born in late December and are being hand-reared at The Denton Cooley Animal Hospital. In order to help Dora and Deigo prepare for socialization with other wolves, Houston Zoo enlisted the help of an experienced "Mom". According to the zoo's blog, "the best option would have been to introduce them to another Maned Wolf litter that was being mother-raised but there were no other females due at the same time as our pups. So we looked internally and one candidate stood out as being right for the job: Taji, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog.  Taji was raised with the cheetahs and works as part of our Cheetah Ambassador Program."




The pups cuddle up to auntie Taji...

Photo credits: Houston Zoo

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Meet Dora and Diego the Maned Wolf Pups!

Dora and Diego, Maned Wolf puppies at the Houston Zoo

The Houston Zoo is proud to announce the births of two rare Maned Wolf pups. Born December 30, the pups are being hand reared at the Houston Zoo's Denton Cooley Animal Hospital. "This is the first successful birth of Maned Wolves at the Houston Zoo in over 10 years," said Houston Zoo Curator of Carnivores and Primates Hollie Colahan. "The pups weigh just over 5 pounds now and are being cared for around the clock by Zoo carnivore and animal hospital staff," added Colahan. The pups are fed 6 times each day and were just introduced to solid food last week. Maned Wolves are not closely related with any other living Canid (wolf, dog or fox) and one study suggests that they may be the sole South American surivivor of the mass extinction of large Canids at the end of the last ice age. 

Diego's weigh-in

Diego does his best puppy dog eyes at the Houston Zoo

Maned Wolves are native to the grasslands, savannahs and tall grass prairies of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Bolivia. The species once thrived and ranged throughout much of South America.Unlike other wolves that live in cooperative breeding packs, Maned Wolves are solitary animals. Little is known about their lives in the wild where their populations are increasingly threatened by habitat loss to agriculture.

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