I am (I think) starting to climb up after being knocked down by some big changes in my life, and being able to virtually hang out here helps a lot. So thanks for being awesome, Deckers. What also helps is the fact that this is probably the most beautiful Woof subject in the whole series.
The Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) is the largest wild canid that can be found in South America, and is the only extant member of the genus Chrysocyon. Its local names vary by region, but include borochi (Bolivia), aguara guazu (Guarani for "large fox"), kalak (Toba) and lobo-guara (Brazil).
The Maned Wolf bears a vague resemblance to the Red Fox, if a Red Fox were to suddenly grow taller. These animals are tallest of wild canids, standing 42 inches (107 cm) at the shoulder and measuring 49 inches (125 cm) in body length. They can weigh as much as 75 pounds (34 Kg). It's believed that the Maned Wolf evolved its long legs in order to adapt to living in tall grasslands, its preferred habitat. The dark, distinct ruff on the back of its neck is its "mane," and it stands upright to increase its apparent size when the Maned Wolf is threatened or engaged in an aggressive display.
Maned Wolves do not form packs the way other large canids do (like the Dhole, African Wild Dogs or Gray Wolves). They are solitary hunters, most active during the time between sunset and midnight. They hunt small and medium-sized prey, like rabbits, rodents, birds and fish - but they also include vegetation in their diet as well. As much as half of their diet is made up of fruit like the wolf apple, which is a tomato-y thing, sugarcane, and tubers. Maned Wolves in captivity were initially fed an all-meat diet and developed bladder stones, so now zoos and other facilities that keep Maned Wolves include fruits and vegetables in their food.
Maned Wolves communicate with each other through their urine, by marking their usual hunting trails and the places they've buried prey to dig up later. Their urine smells a lot like cannabis, which once caused some confusion for Dutch police when a hunt for pot-smokers led them to Rotterdam Zoo. Female Maned Wolves will give birth to a litter of two to six pups after 65-day gestation period. The pups rely on their mother to provide with them food until they are fully grown, which takes about one year.
The IUCN considers the Maned Wolf to be a near threatened species - it may already be extirpated from Uruguay. Its relationship with humans is rocky, because while the Maned Wolf will catch and kill chickens if it has the opportunity, it is also wrongly seen as a threat to sheep and cattle, which are much too large to interest it as prey. The threats they face include loss of habitat, diseases from domesticated dogs, and injury or death from passing vehicles.