Support Wild Maned Wolf Conservation!

Support Wild Maned
Wolf Conservation!


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.

May 14th, 2011

This past Wednesday, we introduced the giant anteater, Eury, into the exhibit with the maned wolf family. Before the pups were born, Eury lived with the wolves on exhibit in cooperative weather. The adult wolves would usually move out of the anteater's way when he would walk around the exhibit and the anteater would ignore the wolves. We expected that the adult wolves would behave differently now that they had pups to protect. We had introduced the anteater to the pups through a fence when they were much younger, but the anteater has been out of the exhibit area for more than a month now. Before introducing Eury back into the exhibit, we waited until we felt that the pups were old enough to move out of the anteater's way. Wednesday morning, after a couple of days of fence-contact, relevant staff gathered at the exhibit and preparations were made for the introduction. We weren't expecting anything awful to happen to any of the animals, but we were prepared to separate them again if needed and our veterinarian was on call. When Eury entered the exhibit, the adults didn't get nervous until he neared the pups and/or the main outside den box. The adults did display protective behaviors, but staff was confident that the introduction would continue to go smoothly and that the animals would become acclimated to the situation over time. Because Eury hadn't been on exhibit for quite some time, he was more active than usual and confrontations between himself and the adults occurred fairly often throughout the day. Mid-afternoon, the decision was made to bring Eury out of the exhibit to give all the animals a break from the stress. The pups don't really understand what Eury is and would run to the opposite side of the exhibit when he approached. On Thursday, we again let Eury into the exhibit. All the animals were much more calm than the day before. Today, the adults were much less concerned about Eury being a threat to the pups and the pups were beginning to accept his presence. We will continue to put Eury in with the wolves a little bit each day, with staff watching, until all the animals seem comfortable with the mix. When you visit us, you may now see Eury on exhibit or with access to the side holding yard. This introduction is important for the future of captive maned wolf conservation efforts as successful mixed-species exhibits may inspire more participation from zoos and conservation centers. Not only is this mixed-species exhibit more natural and enriching for the animals, but it is more educational and interesting to zoo visitors. Maned wolves and giant anteaters share native home ranges. Wild maned wolf pups would encounter many challenges and creatures; our pups live in a safe environment that also includes many natural components.