The range of the maned wolf extends from central Brazil into the northern parts of Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia and Uruguay and into southeastern Peru.
Maned wolves inhabit grasslands, savannah, swampy areas and dry shrub forests. They prefer to live in small patches of forest interspersed with open country.
- Maned wolves have a head-body length of about 41 inches (105 cm) with an 18 inch tail (45 cm).
- They weigh about 50 pounds (23 kg); males and females are the same size.
- They stand 29-36 inches (74-91 cm) at the shoulder.
- A reddish coat with black on the muzzle and feet, and white on the throat, tail and in their ears.
- They have long hairs on the shoulders and neck, which stand erect when they sense danger.
- They have long slender legs and large erect ears.
What Does It Eat?
In the wild: Insects, small mammals, birds, snails, lizards, fish, eggs, frogs, palm nuts as well as grasses and most fruits and vegetables. Unlike other canids over half of their diet is fruit.
At the zoo: Maned wolf chow, chopped fruit, cooked vegetables and chicks or quails.
What Eats It?
The maned wolf is a top predator in its habitat with no known predator, however the young may be threatened by feral or domestic dogs.
Monogamous pairs are the basic unit of the maned wolves’ social organization. The pair share and defend a territory but may not spend much time together. After pups are born, the female is the primary caregiver and may display aggression toward the male. In the wild, the extent of the male’s participation with pups is not known although in captivity males have been observed regurgitating food for the pups. Unlike other large canids, they specialize in hunting small prey and do not hunt cooperatively.
Maned wolves are mature at about one year of age but usually do not breed until they are about two years old. After a gestation of about two months, the female gives birth to one to five pups in a den made in tall grass or thickets. The pups are brownish-gray or black, weigh about 18 ounces (500 gm) and are blind and helpless at birth. They develop the adult coloring and characteristic long legs by the time they are several months old. Females provide milk and later regurgitated food for the growing pups. They are weaned at about 15 weeks. Males may also assist with the care of the young and will regurgitate food for the pups. Life span in the wild is not known for these secretive and nocturnal animals but they can live 12-15 years in captivity.