Paignton Zoo has just welcomed a new female maned wolf called Lua.
Lua is currently in quarantine – though already on show to the public – and will eventually join male maned wolf Tolock, who is very keen to meet her.
Maned wolves are shy, secretive animals, which can make them tricky to spot. However, they are very beautiful, with fox-like features and long, elegant legs.
Despite their name and their appearance, maned wolves aren’t actually wolves or even foxes. They are part of their very own genus, called Chrysocyon.
Maned wolves not only use a variety of different vocalisations, but they also communicate through scent marking with their urine. This has a very pungent odour that can often be smelt when walking through Paignton Zoo!
Owen Taylor, Curator of Mammals at Paignton Zoo, said: “Maned wolves used to be found in many countries across South America, but now they are almost extinct in Uruguay and near-threatened in several other locations. We hope that Lua’s arrival will encourage more people to find out about this fascinating species.”
Paignton Zoo is part of Wild Planet Trust, a charitable organisation that is helping to halt species decline both in the UK and abroad. As well as running Paignton Zoo, it also runs Newquay Zoo in Cornwall, three reserves in the South West, and manages a variety of international conservation programmes.
For more information on Paignton’s maned wolves, and to buy tickets to visit them, go to: www.paigntonzoo.org.uk. For further details on the work of Wild Planet Trust, go to: www.wildplanettrust.org.uk
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