Paignton Zoo’s South American maned wolves are rearing a litter of three pups, the first for the zoo in seven years.
Born towards the end of February, the pups were not seen by keepers for nearly four week due to their elusive nature. They have become much easier to spot now though since becoming bigger and more mobile.
The maned wolf is the largest canid in South America with adults standing almost 1 metre (3 feet) tall at the shoulder and weighing 20 to 25 kg. (50 to 55 lb). Often described as ‘a fox on stilts’ due to their coloration, the maned wolf is shy and flees when alarmed, but will raise its mane to display aggression.
The wolves catch small prey such as rodents, hares and birds, but fruit forms a large part of their diet. You are more likely to smell them rather than see them as their urine, which they use to communicate, is very distinctive!
Found in parts of Brazil, Paraguay, and Bolivia, the maned wolf is an endangered species in its natural habitat. Now part of a carefully managed programme in Europe, the arrival of three pups at Paignton Zoo is great news for the wolf species.
To find out more about visiting the zoo in Devon go to www.paigntonzoo.org.uk