Four maned wolf pups were born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute Dec. 23, 2017. During much of their first weeks they were nestled in a den, but are now exploring more areas of their yard. Keepers have been monitoring the pups and mom, Zayda, through a closed circuit camera. But on Feb. 6, keepers and veterinarians got a close-up look at the pups during their first veterinary checkup at 6 weeks old. All four pups are healthy and growing.
The two male and two female pups all weighed about 6.5 pounds (about 3 kilograms). Veterinarians gave them a full health exam, listening to their hearts and lungs, checking their eyes and palpating their abdomens. The pups also received their first round of vaccines, preventive de-wormers and transponder chips (much like domestic dogs and cats receive them). Although the transponder chips help identify the pups, they are placed just under their skin and can only be read by a chip reader. So, veterinarians also shaved different spots on the pups to help keepers more easily identify them without having to handle them.The pups are still a dark brown color. They will grow into their rusty golden coats and long black legs as they get older. Veterinarians and keepers will continue to monitor the pups closely over the next several months.