Habitat: Grasslands and scrub forests
Size: As tall as 34” at the shoulder and weighing up to 60 pounds; males and females are the same size. Pups weigh about 18oz at birth
Gestation: 65 days (approximate); 2-5 pups that remain with mother for the first year
Diet (wild): Maned Wolves are omnivorous. In the wild, they feed on a variety of small prey species such as rabbit, pacas, small rodents, armadillos and birds. They will occasionally capture and eat reptiles, fish and insects. In addition to prey, maned wolves will eat seasonal fruit. This fruit can make up to 50% of their diet.
Diet (zoo): Ground meat diet is the staple. In addition, he receives whole prey items including mice and quail.
Life spans (wild): Because they are so secretive, life span in the wild is unknown
Endangered Status: Near Threatened; approximately 13,000 are left in the population. They will most likely face a 10% decrease in the next decade caused mostly by habitat degradation and transfer of disease by domestic dogs.
Threats in the wild: Habitat degradation and disease transmission by domestic dogs
Anatomy/Physiology: Extremely long legs and large ears. They have a reddish coat with black coloration on the muzzle, feet and mane. They are white on their tails, neck and inside their ears.
How big do families grow?: They are solitary animals that form monogamous pairs. While monogamous, the pair does not spend much time together; rather they are more solitary but live in proximity and defend the territory. They come together to breed. Two to five pups are born after about 65 days and remain with the mother for about a year.
How do they communicate between one another?: Animals communicate in many ways that humans cannot detect without special instruments. However, maned wolves mark territory with pungent urine that resembles the smell of the familiar skunk. They also do not howl. However, they have a short bark vocalization, a growl and a high pitched whine. They use the scent marking and vocalizations to communicate their territory as they live in tall grasses and cannot see each other well through these, especially at night
Do they have any special skills?: They dig with their teeth. They are quite adept climbers (even of some trees) and they also raise their mane that is located on their neck to appear larger.
What is their daily schedule?: At the Zoo, they get up in the morning when the keeper arrives and he or she asks the animal to shift into his night house. He comes in and gets locked in. The keeper feeds him and allows him to eat while the keeper cleans the yard. After locking up, the keeper releases him back into his yard. Later in the morning the Giant Anteater joins him in the yard. After bringing the Giant Anteater in for the night, the keeper offers the maned wolf some behavioral enrichment to make the day fun and interesting.
Any interesting facts about our Maned Wolf at the Phoenix Zoo?: He lives alone. He is undergoing a training plan to shift in. He came in from the White Oak Conservation Center in Florida in 2006. He was born there on Valentine’s Day in 2000.