The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) is mourning the loss of a 6-year-old female maned wolf named Uno, who died May 7. A final pathology report will provide more information, but her health had been in decline for several months due to liver and bowel disease. Despite treatment, Uno's condition worsened last week, and animal care staff elected to humanely euthanize her based on her poor long-term prognosis. The median life expectancy of a maned wolf is about 6-and-a-half years.
Uno was born at SCBI Jan. 17, 2010. Most zoo animals participate in a breeding program called the Species Survival Plan. The SSP scientists determine which animals breed by considering their genetic makeup, nutritional and social needs, temperament and overall health. Although animal care staff attempted to breed Uno using both natural and artificial insemination techniques, no births took place. Instead, Uno served as an educational ambassador for her species, illustrating the nature and behavior of maned wolves to SCBI scientists. With the death of Uno, there are 10 maned wolves living at SCBI.
Maned wolves live in central South America. With approximately 20,000 left in the wild, the species is considered near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The species' primary threats include habitat loss and degradation and human conflict.