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November 10, 2017

Two New Maned Wolves Join The Woodland Park Zoo Community

Kirby Lindsay Laney
One of the new female maned wolves at Woodland Park Zoo, exploring a pumpkin during the annual Halloween event.  Photo by Dennis Dow for WPZ

One of the new female maned wolves at Woodland Park Zoo, exploring a pumpkin during the annual Halloween event. Photo by Dennis Dow for WPZ

After the departure of Vinny, the sole maned wolf at Woodland Park Zoo (WPZ,) the community now welcomes two one-year-old female maned wolves, sisters named Joy and Scarlet.  They now live and explore in the WPZ Wildlife Survival Zone.

“Our male maned wolf was recommended to be sent to Fossil Rim Wildlife Center to be paired with a female for breeding under the maned wolf species survival plan,” explained Shawn Pedersen, a collection manager at WPZ.  “Around the same time, Little Rock Zoo was looking for a home for their two young females…”

Since arriving in mid-October, Joy and Scarlet seem to be settling into their new home quite well.  “These two are younger, more playful and are adjusting well to their new surroundings,” Pedersen said, “they love chasing sprinklers and they seem to be avid hungers.”  The animal care team have picked up on physical and behavioral traits that differentiate the sisters.  “Joy is the dominant and more aloof wolf,” Pedersen observed, “Scarlet is much less shy around people and the more playful of the two.  Physically, the biggest difference seems to be the tips of their ears.  Though subtle, Scarlet’s ears have more of a flattish top.”

Woodland Park Zoo has welcomed two new maned wolves to its community.  Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for WPZ

Woodland Park Zoo has welcomed two new maned wolves to its community. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for WPZ

Maned wolves are large canids that have fox-like characteristics, an impressive red coat, large ears and stilt-like legs adapted for living in the grasslands and scrub forest of central South America.  In the wild, the gentle and timid maned wolves are primarily solitary, although a breeding pair usually remains monogamous and shares the same territory.  Maned wolves are listed as near threatened due to loss of habitat, introduction of disease, and hunting for their body parts, sometimes believed to have medicinal healing powers.

The Woodland Park Zoo takes part in the conservation breeding programs coordinated through the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.  WPZ is also certified under the rigorous American Humane Conservation program.  Find out more about the certifications held by the Zoo, and Scarlet & Joy, by visiting the WPZ – or checking the Zoo.org website.

 


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©2017 Kirby Laney.  This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws.  Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.

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