Zoo Celebrates Birth of
Two Maned Wolf Pups
The Louisville Zoo is thrilled to announce the birth of two maned wolf pups. The two females were born February 14 to Sadie and Rocko, both five years old. Each weighed about 7 pounds at the time of their neonatal examinations.
Maned wolf gestation is similar to a domestic dog which is about two months. Sadie has nursed the pups since they were born and they should be weaned at around 4 months of age. Both parents will also regurgitate food to the pups to assist with the transition from milk to solid foods.
The Louisville Zoo is continually seeking the very best methods in nutrition, veterinary care, and animal husbandry and consistently monitors the health of the animals. Prior to the fall/winter breeding season, zoo keepers and veterinary staff developed a plan to optimize the health of both adult wolves. Sadie was underweight, had a poor appetite, and suboptimal stool quality. Following a thorough medical evaluation and treatment plan, a diet change was pursued to improve food intake, body condition, and stool quality. This diet change was achieved with collaboration with the Maned Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP) nutritionist Dr. Cheryl Morris and Rudy Green’s Doggy CuisineTM creator and President Karla Haas. Special custom-made whole food recipes were developed by these renowned professionals in the field using human grade meats and vegetables. The Rudy Green brand has been producing human grade, gently cooked food for dogs since 2006 and is sold in Kroger pet aisle freezers and online via amazon.
The Louisville Zoo contacted Ms. Haas and together they began experimenting with a custom formulated diet in September 2016. Both wolves were gradually transitioned onto it after initial testing of several recipes. The new diet, in conjunction with recommended nutritional supplements by Dr. Morris, resulted in improvements in overall health. The Louisville Zoo is proud that this team approach has resulted in the birth of two maned wolf pups, the first for the Louisville Zoo in 10 years.
The Rudy Green’s Maned Wolf Diet, nick-named “Sadie’s Stew”, is now being utilized by the National Zoo in Washington DC in the hopes that the animals there care will benefit as well. Interest in alternative and more healthful diets for the maned wolves is spreading among zoos nationally.
ABOUT MANED WOLVES
The maned wolf is native to South America and can be found throughout Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Uruguay. Maned wolves are solitary. The maned wolf is an omnivore. Half of their diet is fruit supplemented with small mammals, birds and reptiles, insects, nuts, eggs and grass. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists the maned wolf as threatened.