The Natural Science Center & Animal Discovery of Greensboro is home to two adult maned wolves, Lana and Nazca. Maned wolves are an endangered member of the canine family and are from South America. They resemble large foxes and are very beautiful animals. In 2008, the Natural Science Center, with support from the Brooks Family and Duke Energy, built a state-of-the-art exhibit and holding area in the hopes that we would be approved to receive a breeding pair of maned wolves in the future.
The AZA Maned Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP®) was impressed with our exhibit and decided to send us two sister wolves to start so that the staff could gain experience with the species before participating in the breeding program. Luna and Nena arrived from Little Rock, AR and the Jean and Taylor Brooks Family Maned Wolf Conservation Center and Duke Energy Solar Solutions Center opened in April 11th, 2008. The sisters' genes are currently more represented in the captive population than other maned wolves' so the SSP® then decided to swap them with a young breeding pair. In fall 2009, Lana arrived from White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee, FL. and Nazca arrived from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute at Front Royal, VA. This blog will follow the story of the 2010/2011 Reproductive Season for Lana & Nazca. It will also provide information on the conservation program and about maned wolves as a species. Use the Archive at the right of this page to see each post. We hope you enjoy as we share this wonderful story!
We want to thank the Maned Wolf SSP® Species Coordinator, Melissa Rodden, at SCBI and all the MWSSP® advisers for providing us with most of the maned wolf information found in this blog.
The Jean and Taylor Brooks Family Maned Wolf Conservation Center "was given in loving memory of Drs. Jean and Taylor Brooks, by Jim Brooks, to honor their lives and lifelong appreciation for and commitment to the natural world; and also in memory of his godmother Katherine Pierce, co-founder of the Natural Science Center, 1957. This habitat was created with the hope that it will serve to inspire and motivate each of us to be conscious stewards of our planet, its resources and all its creatures."
About the author: Kim Clark has been an animal keeper and educator at the Natural Science Center of Greensboro since the opening of Animal Discovery in 2007. She hopes that the Natural Science Center's maned wolf breeding program, as well as this blog, will make a significant difference in maned wolf conservation efforts worldwide. Most of the photos in this blog were taken by zookeepers Kim Clark and Amber Walker.
The pups had their second round of vaccinations yesterday. They are all about 9.5 pounds. It took us quite awhile to find the pups hiding in the grass! They are all experts at camouflage, which would be very helpful in the wild to help them hide from predators. As soon as they perceive possible danger, they all hide in separate spots that are perfect for their purpose. The award definitely goes to "Bonita" though. We walked right by her 4 or 5 times before we actually spotted her! If you visit the pups, please remember to hold on tight to any loose objects that you may be holding. We have had several objects fall into the exhibit this week, including a couple of shoes. If the pups get and ingest these objects, they may be injured or become sick. We are unable to go into the exhibit very often to retrieve the objects, as mom and dad are being very protective of the pups. Please help us to keep them safe!
Bonita is very calm while we weigh her! Her head looks so big compared to her body.