Greensboro Science Center is excited about the birth of two Maned Wolf pups! The pups, a male and a female, were born on March 7 to mom Anaheim and dad Nazca.
The wolves’ exhibit was closed from mid-February till the beginning of April, in preparation for the birth and to allow the new family to bond.
The pups are now on exhibit, but staff remind visitors to keep in mind that the pups may or may not be visible, depending on whether or not they choose to come out of their den boxes.
The Greensboro Science Center is also excited to announce that the pups now have names! After a contest was conducted via social media, the zoo is happy to introduce…Rio and Rosario.
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").
This mammal is found in open and semi-open habitats, especially grasslands with scattered bushes and trees, in south, central-west, and southeastern Brazil, Paraguay, northern Argentina, Bolivia east and north of the Andes, and far southeastern Peru (Pampas del Heath only). It is very rare in Uruguay, possibly being displaced completely through loss of habitat. The IUCN classifies it as “Near Threatened”, while it is considered a vulnerable species by the Brazilian government (IBAMA).
The Maned Wolf is the tallest of the wild canids; its long legs are likely an adaptation to the tall grasslands of its native habitat. Fur of the Maned Wolf may be reddish brown to golden orange on the sides with long, black legs, and a distinctive black mane. The coat is marked further with a whitish tuft at the tip of the tail and a white "bib" beneath the throat. The mane is erectile, and typically, is used to enlarge the wolf's profile when threatened or when displaying aggression.
The Maned Wolf also is known for the distinctive odor of its territory markings, which has earned it the nickname "skunk wolf."
Their mating season, in the wild, ranges from November to April. Gestation lasts 60 to 65 days and a litter may have from two to six black-furred pups, each weighing approximately 450 g (16 oz). Pups are fully grown when one year old. During that first year, the pups are known to rely on their parents for food.
The Maned Wolf is omnivorous. It specializes in small and medium-sized prey, including small mammals (typically rodents and rabbits), birds, and even fish, but a large portion of its diet (more than 50%, according to some studies) is vegetable matter, including sugarcane, tubers, and fruit (wolf apple, Solanum lycocarpum, a tomato-like fruit). Traditionally, captive Maned Wolves were fed meat-heavy diets, but that caused them to develop bladder stones. Zoo diets for them now feature fruits and vegetables, as well as meat.