The Zoo's maned wolves are off exhibit to the public and currently live at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia.
The maned wolf stands about three feet tall at the shoulder and weighs about 50 pounds. It looks like a long-legged fox, with a reddish-brown coat and a mane along its back. Its ears are large and long (7 inches), its throat and tip of the tail are white, and its legs are mostly dark.
This wolf lives in central and southeastern Brazil, Paraguay, eastern Bolivia, and northern Argentina.
The maned wolf inhabits open forest, savanna, and marshland.
Maned wolves are omnivorous, eating small mammals, insects, reptiles, birds, bird eggs, fruits, and vegetation.
Habitat destruction is the main threat to maned wolves. They have almost no natural enemies, but nevertheless are in great danger because they needs wide, uninterrupted spaces. In addition, people kill these wolves for their body parts, believed to have magical properties.
The National Zoo has been working to protect maned wolves for nearly 30 years and coordinates the collaborative, inter-zoo Maned Wolf Species Survival Plan, which includes breeding maned wolves, studying them in the wild, protecting their habitat, and educating people about them.
Maned wolves are monogamous. Though the male and female generally live solitary lives and come together only during the breeding season, they share defended territories.