Date: 19 Nov 2018
Belfast Zoo has recently welcomed a female maned wolf from Plock Zoo in Poland. Wendy was born on 17 December 2017 and arrived in Belfast on 20 October 2018. She will soon join Belfast’s male maned wolf, Logan!
The maned wolf resembles a red fox on stilts. Despite their appearance they are not related to the fox and despite their name, they are not members of the wolf family. The maned wolf is in fact a member of the Canidae family and is a wild dog found in South America. It is the only species in the genus ‘Chrysocyon’ which means ‘golden dog’. However, it gets its common name from the mane of hair along its back which it raises to display aggression.
The maned wolf’s long legs allow it to see above the tall grass to hunt for food, while also avoiding predators. The maned wolf is an omnivore eating fruit, small mammals and birds. This animal can rotate its large ears to listen for prey in the grass, before tapping the ground with front feet to flush out its dinner before finally pouncing.
Zoo curator, Julie Mansell, is delighted with the new arrival “I am an avid supporter of the Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club and Wendy has been named after the club’s wolf mascot.”
Julie continues “In the last ten years, the main habitats of the maned wolf have been subject to intense deforestation. In fact, there has been a 56% reduction in the Brazilian population of the species. In addition to the devastating impact of habitat destruction, they are also hunted for their meat and the traditional medicine trade. It is therefore vital that zoos work collaboratively to play an active role in their conservation. Wendy has arrived at Belfast Zoo as part of the breeding programme for the maned wolf and they will now make a breeding pair. She is settling in extremely well and will soon be mixed with Logan. We have high hopes that it won’t be long before we hear the pitter patter of little maned wolf paws!”