Endangered wolf pup born and new exhibits open at the Abilene Zoo

Endangered wolf pup born and new exhibits open at the Abilene Zoo

By Callie Harris, Communications and Media Relations Manager

 

 

 

ABILENE, Texas – The Abilene Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of an endangered maned wolf. Born on December 29, the male pup weighed in at approximately 16 ounces. The pup is currently being cared for in the exhibit’s den by his mother, Rosita. Within the next two weeks, the pup should begin to venture out into the rest of the exhibit that he will share with his mother and father, Cerrado. “We’re thrilled with this little guy,” said Zoo Director Bill Gersonde. “It’s a special time for the Abilene Zoo as this new pup contributes to the conservation of his species.”{{more}}In the wild, maned wolves inhabit the open and semi-open grasslands of Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia and Peru. Habitat destruction is the main threat to maned wolves. People also kill these wolves for their body parts, believed to have magical properties. Maned wolves are unique in the fact that they consume a large amount of fruits and vegetables as opposed to other canine species which eat mostly meat. Zoo guests will also enjoy two new exhibits. A newly installed nursery inside the Creepy Crawler Center is now home to the aldabra tortoise, red spitting cobra, lemur tree frogs and the Coahuilan box turtle. The aldabra tortoises are currently the size of coffee cup but can grow to over 3 feet in length and weigh over 500 pounds. The tortoises are just one example of the zoo’s efforts to produce and rear a variety of reptiles and amphibians. The second new exhibit, located in Elm Creek Back Yard, is home to the prehistoric-looking alligator snapping turtle. Currently weighing in at over 18 pounds, this species can grow in excess of 250 pounds. A unique appendage on the turtle’s tongue looks like a worm. It’s used to attract fish into the turtle’s open mouth and easily consume its prey.“These new exhibits add to our guest’s zoo experience,” said Gersonde. “The new animals will be exciting for visitors to see and provide additional opportunities to learn about some of creepy creatures that share our planet.”The Abilene Zoo is located at 2070 Zoo Lane and is opened daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.abilenezoo.org.