A new wolf is on display at Rolling Hills Zoo.
According to the zoo, a 23-month-old maned wolf named Zachary that arrived last month from the White Oak Wildlife Conservation Center in Yulee, Florida is now on display. After his 30-day quarantine, Zach was introduced to his recommended breeding partner, Evita. “The young maned wolves are getting along very well together”, explains Peter Burvenich, Curator at Rolling Hills. “We’re really hoping this will be the start of some future additions to our maned wolf family”.
As part of the AZA’s Maned Wolf Species Survival Plan, a captive breeding management group whose mission is to help ensure the species’ survival, Zachary was brought to Rolling Hills Zoo as a recommended breeding partner for Evita, the 10-year-old female. Both maned wolves can now be seen in the maned wolf exhibit.
The maned wolf gets its English name from the long hairs, or mane, on the back of its neck. The species is actually more of a giant “fox on stilts” than a wolf. Somewhat gangly and awkward, the maned wolf employs more of a foxlike stalk and pounce method of hunting than the all-out chase seen in true wolves.
The natural range includes the lowlands of Bolivia south through central Brazil into Paraguay, Argentina, and northeastern Brazil. Preferred habitat includes grasslands, marshes and scrub. The IUCN describes the maned wolf as “near threatened”.
The main threat to maned wolves in the wild is habitat loss. Many of their grasslands have been burned to make room for agriculture and the maned wolf is no longer found in some parts of its original range. Hunted for sport as well as persecuted for allegedly killing small livestock and chickens, maned wolves are becoming an ever rarer occurrence in the wild.