Paraná, March 12, 2021 – You may have already heard of a typical South American animal that can be found widely in Brazil: the maned wolf. For many years, this species that now has gained notoriety receives support from Klabin through its Ecological Park in the Campos Gerais region of Paraná state, where they receive treatment and care until they are ready to be released back into the wild. The maned wolf is classified in Brazil as “vulnerable to extinction”, according to the endangered species classification of the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio). Estimates indicate the existence of 23,000 maned wolves in the wild.
Located in Telêmaco Borba, Paraná, Klabin’s Ecological Park (PEK) currently cares for two maned wolves, one male and one female, which live permanently in the park given their inability to be returned safely to the wild. The two wolves live in different areas of the park, while a plan is being developed to repopulate the species in regions where their populations have fallen. It is a delicate project that demands research and partners to support the effective placement of the offspring. “Klabin’s Ecological Park has interacted with maned wolves for many years now, always providing all the medical attention required before being reintroduced to the wild. In some cases, such as this particular one about two wolves that live in the Park, they are still with us because they require special care,” said Paulo Schmidlin, coordinator of Klabin’s Ecological Park.
Accidents involving maned wolves are very frequent, with most caused by vehicles. The medical assistance provided by Klabin’s Ecological Park often requires surgeries to repair fractures or hemorrhages, while others need therapeutic and drug treatments. The assistance provided by PEK focuses on readying the animals to be reintroduced into nature. “Our goal is to ensure the complete clinical rehabilitation of the animals and their return to a free life in the wild. In cases with permanent traumas or other problems preventing their return to the wild, the animals remain in our sanctuaries supported by conservation and research programs. Klabin’s Ecological Park works to ensure the well-being, health and balanced diet of the animals to keep them in perfect health, including our special maned wolf, which is now more famous than ever,” said Schmidlin.
Below are some curiosities about maned wolves that you may not know:
- Top Dog – Maned wolves are the largest canine in South America, weighing 20-30 kg (44-66 lb.) and up to 90 cm (35 in) tall.
- Almost Vegetarian – Despite their appearance, their diet is different from that of dogs. They are omnivorous and do not usually eat a lot of animal protein/meat, since they easily develop kidney problems.
- Blessed Tree – An important part of the health of maned wolves depends on eating wolf apples, which is a shrub or small tree, up to 5 meters tall, that protects them from getting infected with a worm that attacks their kidneys and could even be fatal. The fruit from the wolf’s plant resembles a tomato and has a strong, distinctive odor. Maned wolves disperse the plant’s seeds via defecation, which creates a cycle of new wolf apple stands in their habitat.
- My Space – They live in open fields, especially in the cerrado biomes of Brazil. They exist only in South America. Brazil is home to a large number of maned wolves, which also are found near the borders with neighboring countries.
- Always Alert – Despite not eating a lot of animal protein, they are still hunters, as indicated by their large and tall ears, which are specialized for hearing over long distances. They mainly hunt small rodents and mammals.
- Athletic – They are amazing jumpers. They can capture birds as they take flight, much like the Arctic Fox. With long legs that give them a major advantage in biomes with low vegetation, the wolves can reach heights of up to one meter and are highly adaptable.
- Good neighbors – Maned wolves rarely draw the ire of people living near their habitats. For this reason, they often are adopted as the ambassadors of conservation efforts in the Brazilian cerrado.
About the Klabin Ecological Park
Established in the 1980s, the Klabin Ecological Park is located in the Monte Alegre Farm in Telêmaco Borba, Paraná. The park covers nearly 10,000 hectares, of which 91% consists of natural forests. The Park promotes biodiversity conservation, wildlife rehabilitation and the preservation of endangered species, while also conducting scientific research and supporting environmental education projects.
Today, about 180 animals of 50 species, including the puma, the pigmy brocket deer and the Brazilian tapir, live in the park.