Maned Wolf. Credit: Brno Zoo.

Maned Wolf Triplets Born at Brno Zoo

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The first baby animals of 2024 at Brno Zoo are three small maned wolves, which were born at the end of January, and are said to be doing very well. The triplets are the first puppies of this breed born at Brno Zoo for eight years.

“It’s still not completely done,” said the zoo’s curator of mammal breeding, Oldřiška Kučerová. “The female is very young and it is her first birth, when the rearing of the young may not be successful. So we are cautious. They are very shy animals, so calm is extremely important for them. This applies doubly when caring for their young. However, the female is handling everything perfectly and the breeding is taking place completely naturally, without the intervention of breeders. Precisely because we leave the female room for natural breeding and do not touch the young at all, it could happen that we lose the young, due to a number of unforeseen factors. That’s how it normally goes in nature, it’s part of the animal’s life cycle, but we hope that everything will turn out well here.” 

The cubs are thriving and gaining weight, according to visual inspections by breeders. The sex of the wolf cubs will only be discovered during the first veterinary examination, which will take place in the second half of March.

“It might be interesting for visitors that the period is slowly starting when the female transfers the cubs from one house to another,” added Kučerová. “So if someone stays at the maned wolf exhibit in the upper part of the zoo for a while, and is lucky, they might see a female with a puppy in her mouth. It is a common way of transferring the young, and there is no danger to them. At the same time, we ask visitors to be considerate, to behave quietly in the enclosure and to respect the calm needed for successful breeding.” 

Brno Zoo has been breeding maned wolves since 2000. First, the male Karlos and the female Saartje, who gave birth to triplets at the end of January 2016, took up residence there. Subsequently, the zoo took in the female Lada (born 1 May 2022 in Prague Zoo, arrived in South Moravia on 6 December 2022). The male Leo was born on 10 May 2019 in Szeged, Hungary, and has been at Brno Zoo since 2 September 2020.

The maned wolf is the largest canid of South America and the tallest canid in the world. Its long legs allow it to better navigate in areas overgrown with tall grass. In addition to hunting smaller vertebrates, it also eats fruits. In nature, it is particularly threatened by the loss of its habitat, which is being turned into pastures and fields. Wolves are also threatened by automobile traffic and domestic dogs, which can hunt them and transmit infectious diseases to them. Maned wolves are also still being hunted illegally. Some in South America believe that parts of the animal’s body (eg. eyes, skin, tail) have healing effects, and they carry them as a talisman.

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