Baxio & Estrela the Maned Wolves
Baxio (born December 19, 1998) and Estrela (born March 16, 2003) are the Alexandria Zoo's resident maned wolves. Baxio has been at the Alexandria Zoo since 1999 when he arrived with his brother, marking the beginning of the Alexandria Zoo's participation in the Maned Wolf Species Survival Plan program. Baxio's brother is now at another zoo.
Baxio and Estrela are one of 20 pairs recommended for breeding by the Maned Wolf SSP. On November 27, 2009, the pair became parents to three female pups. Due to health risks, the three pups were removed from the exhibit to be hand-reared by zoo staff. All three pups are doing very well.
"My That's A Big Fox!"
Although the maned wolf is often referred to a fox on stilts, the two canids are not related. The maned wolf has long, black legs, which enable it to see over the tall vegetation of its native habitat in South America (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Peru). Both maned wolves and foxes have similar coloration, are omnivorous, and have large, triangular ears, which allow body heat to dissipate. The maned wolf's diet includes small mammals, birds, foliage, fruit and insects.
The maned wolf was added to the Species Survival Plan in 1985. They have no natural enemies, but habitat destruction and fragmentation (especially through agricultural development) has led to their decline in the wild. The maned wolf is considered "Near Threatened" on the IUCN Red List of Threated Species, and less than 100 of these wolves are in zoos across the United States.
Where in the Zoo?
Visitors can see Baxio and Estrela in the South American area of the Zoo located near the Entertainment Pavilion.
Click here to learn more about maned wolves.