Savannah, a female South American maned wolf puppy (Chrysocyon brachyurus), is an unusual animal with an unusual companion-Elsa, a yellow Labrador retriever from Guide Dogs of America. The canine duo were hand-raised together in the Los Angeles Zoo nursery, and made their official debut in April.
Savannah is the first maned wolf born in a U.S. zoo this year. She is the first pup for a three-year-old female from the Fossil Rim Wild Life Center in Glen Rose, TX and male from the Baton Rouge Zoo. When her mother was not able to care for her (common in first-time litters), Elsa was brought in to help the lone wolf pup learn how to be a canine. "Although providing a companion of the same species has been done before at zoos, this is the first time that a potential guide dog has been raised with a wolf puppy," said Mammal Curator Michael Dee. "Kelley Greene, an animal keeper in the Zoo nursery, also volunteers for Guide Dogs of America. A litter was born two days after the maned wolf, and she thought one of the puppies would make a good companion for the lonely wolf."
There are approximately 75 endangered maned wolves in North American zoos. Adult females come into heat once a year, and after a gestation of 60 to 66 days give birth to a litter of one to five pups. At birth, pups weigh a few ounces. Fully grown, they weigh 5O pounds and have a life expectancy of l2 to l6 years. Maned wolves are nocturnal and solitary by nature. In the wild they eat birds, small reptiles, insects, mammals, honey, plants, and assorted fruits. They are native to the grasslands of central and eastern Brazil, eastern Bolivia, Paraguay and north eastern Argentina. Their long legs elevate them so they can spot prey in the tall grass and run through the grass to catch their prey. Their longer hind legs facilitate climbing up hills; running down a hill is not as easy. In the wild this can be a deadly disadvantage, when poachers chase them downhill.
Endangered Gorillas born at Woodland Park Zoo
Woodland Park Zoo welcomes the arrival of two endangered Western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla): a female born to 12-year-old Jumoke (Juh-MOH-kee) and 19-year-old Vip on January 3, and another female born to 28-year-old Amanda and Vip on March 18. They are significant for the Gorilla Species Survival Plan(c) (SSP) because Amanda is a founder animal and Vip's only other relative in North America is his 33-year-old mother. These combined circumstances make the baby gorilla's genes particularly valuable. This is the seventh successful gorilla birth at the Zoo.
Amanda is on long-term loan to Woodland Park from the Toronto Zoo and
arrived in Seattle four years ago. Captive born in the Netherlands, Vip
arrived from Franklin Park Zoo, Boston, in October 1996. In addition to
Vip's gorilla group, the zoo has a second group: a 30-year-old female; 30-year-old
male; 7-year-old female; and 2-year-old female. The youngest, Jumoke's
first offspring, was hand raised by Zoo staff and volunteers. She was eventually
introduced to the Zoo's other gorilla group with whom she successfully socialized.