Maned Wolves are naturally found in central and eastern South America, including northern Argentina, south and central Brazil, eastern Bolivia, Paraguay, and south eastern Peru. A variety of open habitats are utilized, including savannah, grassland, scrubland, swamps, marshes, and agricultural land.
The fur blends from reddish brown to golden orange on the sides, with long, black legs and a distinctive black mane. The coat is further marked with a whitish tuft at the tip of the tail and a white "bib" beneath the throat. The mane is erectile, and is typically used to enlarge the wolf's profile when threatened or when displaying aggression. Adults stand almost 1m tall at the shoulder, and weigh 20 to 25 kg
- Maned wolves are closely related to the forest fox and bush dog of South America.
- Their fox-like characteristics; shaggy, white-tipped tail and large ears, have earned it the nickname of ‘fox on stilts’.
- Maned Wolves have a distinctive odour which has also given them the nickname ‘skunk wolf’.
- They are the largest canine species in South America.
- Diet: Maned wolves are omnivorous; eating fruits, vegetables and meat including small birds, rodents, frogs, bananas, apples and avocado.
- Group Structure: Maned wolves live in pairs and are Monogamous (having one partner for life) in the wild and only interact during the breeding season.
- Reproduction: After a gestation period of 62-66 days the female will give birth to 2-6 pups.
- In captivity, males help raise pups by regurgitating food.
- Maned wolves are nocturnal (most active in the night) preferring to rest under forest cover during the day and hunt until sunrise.
- Maned wolves are very shy and only attack humans when they feel threatened or afraid.
- Maned wolves rotate their large ears to listen for prey animals in the grass. They tap the ground with a front foot to flush out the prey and pounce to catch it.
- Amongst South American locals, Maned Wolves are believed to have supernatural powers. It’s right eye is said to bring luck in gambling, whereas wearing a wolf tooth around your neck is said to insure dental perfection.
- Lifespan: 12-15 years