Red Fox on Stilts? No, Just a Maned Wolf!

maned wolfimage credit:
maned wolfimage credit:

© Edgar Thissen

© Carmen Neumeier

maned wolfimage credit: John White
red foxred fox – for comparison 
image credit:
Habitat: open grasslands of South America
Size: 3 ft tall, 50 lbs

As the largest canine species in South America it is interesting to note that the Maned Wolf isn’t a wolf (or a fox) at all. It’s actually a member of its own genus! Although due to its coloring, many people refer to it as a “red fox on stilts.” Their mane, which runs from the back of the head to shoulders, can be erected in order to intimidate other animals or if it feels threatened. These wolves are monogamous (awww!) but only see their partners during mating season (aww…). Aside from habitat destruction, the mane wolf is threatened due to humans hunting it & using parts of it’s body for magical purposes.I hate when freaky people hunt poor innocent animals in hopes of securing “magical substances.” Such a load of B.S. Any opinions??

P.S. Thanks goes to Heather (autumnhound) who showed me this fascinating animal!

Edit: Here are some photos of some adorable Maned Wolf pups!

Maned wolf cub needs a name
image source:

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  • cal320

    Wow, what an interesting animal. So disappointing to hear that humans are wasting another valuable species (again) by hunting it. As a 4 year vegetarian I appreciate your implied shout-out against hunting like this.

    Also, please read my blog sometime, , as I try to read 100 books in a year!

  • Elizabeth

    Thank you for this post. The maned wolf really does look interesting. Re your beetles, you might be interested in my grandkids’ spider and grasshopper adventures.
    I wonder if you also learned to respect small creatures when you were very young.

  • Ladygoodwood

    wow! bit like a hyena crossed with a fox!

    We get lots of foxes where i live – they come into my garden every evening for the windfall apples and plums. I have managed to photograph them and put them on my blog.

  • Anonymous

    The local name is “aguará guazú”, “big fox”. It’s also called “lobizón” (like a kind of werewolf) because when the animal walks it looks a bit like a tall, thin man walking on four.

  • Anonymous

    There needs to be education in parts of the world where people kill off endangered animals in a belief they will get a nonexistent, “magical” benefit out of it.

  • Anonymous

    Magical Substances? Are you out of your mind? I’ve seen plenty of Maned Wolves and I’m fairly certain there are no magical substances in killing Maned Wolves, nor do people think so. Please, review your sources, because I ain’t quite sure if you should deem them trustworthy enough as to publish such a thing as Magical Purposes.

    • Anonymous

      Many cultures, even some rural villages in Europe, believe in wives tale medicine or “magic”. There are tribes in different countries and continents that are not educated by modern standards and do believe in superstitions and what educated western world folk would consider irrational. But these people still have their beliefs, some of which include “magical” falsities. Your comments indicate a lack of understanding of world cultures.

  • CarlyB

    @Anonymous. No, I’m not out of my mind but thank you for worrying about me. If you “ain’t” too sure where that information comes from, you can try a variety of places. I happened to get mine from the Smithsonian National Zoo website. Here is the link for you to check out:

    Also, I do always review my sources. You apparently just haven’t!

  • Fall Creek Falls

    WHat a beautiful animal. It looks like it could be pretty quick with those legs.

  • littlefoxbark

    this site is awesome, such a sweet idea :)

  • Anonymous

    To some people there is still this thing called culture. Some have strange belief systems that “civilized” people might not understand. Like how I don’t understand Christianity’s belief in undead zombie saviors and miraculous virgin mothers. But all that aside, this animal is amazing and should have its place in the ecosystem. But so should indigenous people who harbor ideas that are otherwise seen as ignorant and destructive. I think white people have done more damage to the entire planet than this one or two cultures have done to their local environments in their thousands of years of existnce as a culture. If the habitat wasn’t being destroyed by the capitalist mentality in the first place, the mane wolves might have a place to hide from the people who traditionally and rightfully hunt them. Just a thought. And as far as the vegetarian things is concerned. Animals are meant to be eaten, tell the Jaguar to eat twigs and berries instead of hunting Tapirs, see what happens. If you can prove that our digestive system is more like a sheep’s and less like a dogs, then I would whole heartedly agree that we might rethink our eating habits. But we are undeniably omnivores, opportunists at the very least. Vegetarian cuisine makes for a good diet occasionally, beneficial cleansing effects and what have you, but we need small amounts of animal proteins, fats, etc. Plus leather is a very useful material. Thank you for allowing my voice to be heard. I enjoyed the site.

  • Anonymous

    ^ Yes. Capitalism vs Ancient Wisdom… and people think think can step right up and say “non-existen magical benefits.” Yikes. Does anyone here know anything about how the FDA and media works in this country? The people are as endangered as the animal here, and both need protection, from people like us. Get it straight.

    PS vegetarianism is a ridiculous concept if you are consuming dairy products. Should they just produce massive amounts of cattle to serve you your cheese, and then just cover the land in pastures for the billions of cows you won’t eat? Come on. I was vegetarian from age 11-15, vegan from 15-21, it’s all wrong. US methods are wrong. Eat right, and responsibly, and don’t categorize yourselves, for your own good, and digestive health.

  • Cesar Crash

    The Common name here in Brazil is Lobo Guará.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, thany you! i want to brazil last year and i wnt to this place called karasa and i say at least 3.

  • Anonymous

    sry bout my writing i meant,
    Yes, Thany you! i went to brazil last year and i went to this place called karasa ans i saw at least 3 of these beautiful creatures. i cant believe how dumb people are! wolves are my fave animals, especially the maned wolf, or lobo guara.

  • Anonymous

    OMG i cant believe i did it again the thany is supposed 2 b thank

  • Christina Grimmie

    u have something wrong with you
    type right or ill post a rotten song about you on youtube

  • Anonymous

    im sorry, “christina.” i know ur a fake. everyone does that.

  • Anonymous

    I´m brazilian and your information is correct, people take their eyes for magic rituals. It´s so sad to see the carcass of this magnific animal with empty eye sockets, to know it was killed for this kind of bullshit.

  • Anonymous

    (continuation) Yes, it’s bullshit and cruelty, no matter how “cultural” you think it is, they are torturing and killing an innocent animal. The ritual thing is pretty brutal, they must take the eyes while it still lives. And no, ther’s no such thing as magic, so it’s plain bullshit.

  • Katie

    “Freaky people”?? I’m assuming it’s the natives of the area that believe that these wolves have magical or medicinal properties. While I don’t agree that these beautiful animals should be hurt for any reason and I’m glad that the Smithsonian is trying to protect them, you should be respectful to the indigenous culture. I assure you that the people you would consider “not freaky” have done much, much worse.

  • Anonymous

    I want one for a pet

  • Anonymous

    Daaaaaaw!the babies are sooooooo cute! I want one for a pet too!

  • Anonymous

    You people defending the whole “it’s a culture thing” about killing this animal are freakn’ missing the point! It doesn’t matter what religion you are, if they torture animals for “rituals” it’s a load of bullshit and it’s wrong. Good day.

  • Anonymous

    I think it takes a lot more than a small tribe to hunt this animal into extinction. I do think recently they have become the problem, but they were use to the animal being in surplus not on the fringe of non-exsistence. If their tribe is anything like North American tribes and some South American tribe they only have one shaman or witchdocter who respects the animal as a magical being, unlike the age when it was popular for the rich to hunt animals for fun with no limits in South America and Africa. Now the native people are being told that killing 3 to 4 is while their grandparent can recall white men killing animals by the hundred. So now they have been made the problem for carrying on their culture which older than the cities we live in. Yet they we call them freaky and savages for their belief, but to them we are men of steel, burners of land, and enslavers. This is some what true but there is always two sides. In the end I believe the animal should be protected, but the people shouldn’t lose their culture.

  • Anonymous

    I thought this was a fun website to learn about different types of animals, not a war-zone to bash each other! It’s okay to have differing thoughts about certain things, but please be sensitive to other people’s beliefs and feelings (such as vegetarian vs. non-vegetarian, Christian vs. non-Christian, etc. PS I’m a 13-year-old and believe in the Christian faith, and that comment about our beliefs was a little hurtful :( no hard feelings though).

  • Personne

    @Anonymous from
    October 22, 2011 5:12 PM
    and December 26, 2011 7:02 PM

    Vegatarians and vegans are wrong ?
    So are all dieticians ?

    Veganism is healthy if you know how to eat properly (like any other diet). And the real benefit is this : You don’t kill sentient beings that don’t want to suffer and die. I haven’t eaten animals in 16 years. I don’t eat humans either. And I feel fine.
    Killing them is only your choice.
    Even if you don’t realize it, since you still think that you can’t live whithout eating animals, or that animals don’t really exist, don’t really suffer, don’t really die, or that what most people do is obviously the normal thing to do.

    Inform yourselves, have the courage to see videos, read, visit industrial farms and slaughterhouses, and think… Accept reality. Stop lying to yourselves.

  • Huntingisnotwrong

    It is my humble opinion that if the native population has always hunted the animal for “magical” reasons this is fine. The problem,most likely, isn’t the native population. More likely it’s outsiders coming in and populating the area. So, weather or not your a Vegitarian or Vegan or a blood hungry werewolf , your diet has little to do with the species survival. Nonetheless, I hope people understand the benefits of conservation weather it be through hunting or keeping an animal protected in a wildlife preserve. In North America several species are thriving thanks to BOTH methods.

  • Anonymous

    Lol my sister is a blood-thirsty werewolf, my friend is vegan and cant have dairy, egg-whites, gluten, chocolate, peaches, or anything tasty. Thats why I sneak him food he cant have cuz there is no reason why he cant have it. For example: he cant have dairy cuz it puts him in a bad mood. THATS RIDICULUS! wait, why am I commenting again?

  • D.

    I’m against the hunting if it is done by people with intentions of securing financial gain (i.e. non-native trappers). However, if these animals are being hunted by natives who have done so since the past then I can’t say I’m against that because those people obviously didn’t hunt the animals to extinction… and they were doing it long before we stomped our TOMs into South America.

    • Sandy Schuman

      You do realize that the native Americans here hunted the Woolly mammoths on this continent to extinction, right? I am not saying that’s right or wrong, just that your reasoning about the species being safe is flawed.