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Welcome maned wolves Urso and Rosario!

Posted by Kirsten Pisto, Communications
Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

Maned wolf Rosario

We are thrilled to welcome two long-legged and adorable new residents of the Wildlife Survival Zone... maned wolves Urso and Rosario!

Urso, a young male, was born on January 31, 2022 to parents Brisa and Sheldon along with his three siblings Jaci, Caipora and Cinza at Audubon Zoo. Urso means bear in Portuguese. Urso is very easy to spot since he lost his tail as a very young pup due to an injury. He is a very handsome maned wolf with striking red fur and bright eyes. Urso is a bit shy and is adjusting to his new environment, but animal keepers say they expect him to blossom once he gets settled into his new digs with Rosario. 

Maned wolf Urso

Rosario, a 7-year-old female, is relaxed and comfortable in her new home. Rosario has settled right into her habitat and seems very chill. Rosario and her brother Rio were born to parents Anaheim and Nazca on March 7, 2016 at Greensboro Science Center. Rosario was most recently living at Sedgwick County Zoo (Wichita, Kansas) before arriving in Seattle. The red-furred stunner is going to be a calming presence for young Urso.

Rosario sprinting around the yard.

You can now visit Rosario and Urso at their grassy habitat in the Wildlife Survival Zone (right next to Carson the red panda). The long-legged canines are hard to miss, but mornings might be the best time to see them in action as they scope out their habitat each day.

The maned wolves will enjoy romping through the tall grass, digging, hunting for treats and lounging in their den. Animal keepers tell us their favorite treats include meatballs, chicks, mice and the occasional fruit. The pair will not be breeding, but will be good playmates and companions for each other. Both maned wolves are between 55 and 57 lbs.

Our two previous maned wolves, Scarlet and Joy, were visitor favorites. We were sad to lose Joy, in 2023, to an unknown illness. Scarlet is now at Dallas Zoo with her buddy Ty.

A little chase play during introductions. 

Neither a fox nor a wolf, Chrysocyon is a species all its own with stilt-like legs, an impressive red coat and dark mane along the back. At home in the grasslands and scrub forest of central South America, these crepuscular canines roam the marshes and woodlands at dawn and dusk in search of fruit, small mammals, birds, eggs and invertebrates.

In the wild, maned wolves are known to be quite timid and are primarily solitary. Breeding pairs usually remain monogamous and share the same territory. Unfortunately, maned wolves are listed as near threatened due to habitat fragmentation from urban expansion, the introduction of diseases and poaching. Only about 13,000 remain in the wild.

Maned wolf fun facts 
  • Maned wolves are crepuscular, most active during dawn and dusk.
  • Maned wolves communicate with pungent scent marking, often mistaken for marijuana or skunk. 
  • Maned wolves are the tallest wild canid, helllooo up there! 
  • Roar-barks, whines and growls are just a few of the maned wolf’s vocalizations, but they are typically pretty quiet. 
This near-threatened species is managed under the Maned Wolf Species Survival Plan, a cooperative breeding program across accredited zoos to help ensure a healthy, self-sustaining population of the species. In addition, maned wolves are a SAFE species. Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) program engages AZA-accredited facilities, government agencies, public and private stakeholders in actions that support maned wolf conservation throughout the species’ range. Woodland Park Zoo and collaborating institutions are working together to advocate for habitat preservation and protections, educate the public about ways to take action for maned wolves, and celebrate these incredible animals.

Rosario scoping out her new digs.

Urso will be keeping the exhibit a squirrel-free zone soon enough.