Abilene Zoo is excited to announce the birth of a female maned wolf pup Lyra, born on December 18th to first-time parents Vega and Henry. Lyra and her mother Vega are currently enjoying bonding time together off-exhibit but visitors can anticipate getting a peek at the new pup by mid-March.
“This is very exciting, it’s our first maned wolf puppy born in four years. We celebrated the first-ever AZA International Maned Wolf Day a few months ago and we were all secretly hoping for puppies,” stated Curator Robert Trejo. “Maned wolves live 12 to 15 years under our care, so at 10 years old, Henry is middle-aged. Given his age, we weren’t sure his bloodline would continue. It makes this birth extra exciting knowing that Henry’s bloodline will continue,” said Trejo.
Lyra is named after the Lyra constellation, a nod to her mother’s name ‘Vega’ which is the brightest star in the Lyra constellation. Despite being a first-time dad, Henry played a remarkably involved role in the birth, a rare occurrence in the world of maned wolves. Currently, Vega and Henry are separated as Lyra learns how to walk and continues to nurse for the next three to four weeks. Towards the end of February Lyra’s parents will be reunited to continue raising the pup together.
Abilene Zoo Director, Jesse Pottebaum, remarked “Abilene Zoo has been working to protect maned wolves, which are listed as a near-threatened species. Maned wolves are an AZA SAFE species, meaning they are one of the many species AZA-accredited institutions, like Abilene Zoo, are working to save from extinction.”
Guests can anticipate catching a glimpse of the newest addition to the zoo family by Spring Break in March. Currently, guests can see the proud dad, Henry, out on exhibit daily at Abilene Zoo.