Maned Wolves

Did you know? Maned wolves are wolves in name only. They are truly in a class all their own.

Lucky the Maned Wolf Going On a Walk with Keeper Rachel


maned wolves born at the EWC

Meet Our Maned Wolves

When you think of maned animals, you probably think of a lion or a horse. Maned wolves are just that, tall, reddish wolves with beautiful black manes along the back of their necks – except for one small detail. They’re not exactly wolves.


The maned wolf is a member of the Family Canidae (think “canine” or “dog family”) which is related to wolves, foxes and other canids. They are not true wolves but are a distant relative and are actually more closely related to South American bush dogs. They more closely resemble a giant fox, which earned them another nickname “fox on stilts” for their leggy build and fox-like coloration and features. 


Lucky is a rare maned wolf whose story almost never started –

yet became one for the history books.

Read her story.

Wild About Maned Wolves

A Wolf Worth Howling About – Even if They Don’t

“I can tell you why wolves howl. They are communicating to their pack. Maned wolves do not howl. They ‘roar bark,’ which is a deep vocalization. Maned wolves communicate to potential mates—maned wolves do not travel in packs and are solitary.” 

– Dr. Nucharin Songsasen,
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the coordinator of the Maned Wolf Species Survival Plan

Where do maned wolves live?

Native to South America, maned wolves roam a range extending from the Amazon basin in Brazil, where their population is the largest, to the savannas and shrub forests of Paraguay and northern Argentina, and into parts of Bolivia and Peru.

Are maned wolves endangered?

Maned wolves are listed as threatened which means they are in threat of becoming extinct.

Biologists suspect the numbers are declining due to habitat loss, hunting, poaching, introduction of diseases from domestic dogs and due to wildlife trafficking of body parts and organs that are believed to have medicinal benefits.

What do maned wolves eat?

Maned wolves are omnivores. Over 50% of their diet consists of native fruits and vegetables, with a favorite food being avocado.

Because they do not hunt in packs, they are typically unable to bring down large prey. They will occasionally hunt capybaras (which, growing up to 4 feet long and weighing up to 100 pounds, dare we say “rodents of unusual sizes”) and pampas deer.

Do maned wolves hunt in packs?

Unlike most wolves, these shy and elusive animals typically live alone, but are pair-bonded during breeding season, and share their territory with their mate and offspring.

Members Enjoy a Zoolife Livestream Subscription

With your annual Endangered Wolf Center membership, you can see Lucky and Caido’s antics 24/7 and capture photos and video clips to show the world! Chat with other animal lovers, expand your knowledge, and see what our animals do when our keepers aren’t around.

Adopt a Maned Wolf Pack

As certified members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Endangered Wolf Center plays a critical role in the Species Survival Plan and SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) Program for maned wolves through managed breeding, behavioral and reproductive research, and education. Your symbolic adoption helps make all of this possible and includes a special adoption package.