The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) welcomed two maned wolf pups earlier this winter. The pups, born Jan. 3, are starting to venture out of the den where they were born. Mom, Zayda, and dad, Echo, have been very protective of the pups, and according to animal keepers are very attentive to them. This is the first litter of pups for the pair. Maned wolves live in mated pairs, and both the male and the female care for the pups. Keepers describe the female pup (bottom) as more territorial and the male (top) as shy, but still curious.
With the birth of the pups there are 11 maned wolves living at SCBI. Their father, Echo, is one of the most genetically valuable maned wolves in human care. SCBI scientist Nucharin Songsasen is the Maned Wolf Species Survival Plan coordinator, and makes breeding recommendations for the entire population of maned wolves living in human care. Native to South America, maned wolves are listed as “near threatened” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
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Photos: Janice Sveda/Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute