The B.C. Wildlife Park recently acquired two Patagonian maras similar to the ones pictured here.
Image Credit: Jason Hollinger via Wikimedia Commons
 
The B.C. Wildlife Park has gained some new residents from Quebec, including some interesting South American rodents.

This week two Patagonian maras and three timberwolves arrived from a zoo in Quebec. While the park already has a permanent wolf enclosure, the maras are new, general manager Glenn Grant says. Grant describes the new rodent residents as having the face of a rabbit, stance of a deer and movement of a wallaby.

“They’re something completely different,” he says. “They originate in Argentina, so they can handle the warmth.”

In the winter the Patagonian maras will be able to take shelter in a heated barn within their enclosure.

Staff at the wildlife park had been looking for an animal like the Patagonian mara for a little while becuase the park had an empty enclosure ideal for an animal of their size. Grant says these two were born in captivity and don’t have to skills to be released into the wild.

“Any animal that’s born into captivity is not a good candidate for release,” he says. “Normally they need their mom to teach them skills in the wild.”

The three wolves, a sister and two brothers roughly 20 months old, were also born in captivity, and are from the same zoo as the rodents.

“It’s great to have three new young wolves who will be there for many years to come,” he says.

The park previously had a pack of four wolves, but that pack is now down to just one. Grant says the lone female is old and has deteriorating health so will be taken taken to an enclosure out of public view for care.

All the animals are in their new public habitats today, June 24.

for more info visit http://www.bcwildlife.org/about-us.htm