New ZOO residents
Recent days have witnessed the arrival of a group of gundis and a maned wolf.
The female maned wolf, Nina, came to the Gdańsk Zoo from Le Monde Sauvage Safari Parc in Belgium. Nina celebrated her first birthday, on November 17th, in Gdańsk.
The maned wolf is very rare. In nature it can be found on the South American savannah and swamps. According to the IUCN classification, it is included in the list of near threatened species. This is mainly a result of loss or change of its natural habitats, in particular due to conversion to arable land and pastures. Human activity poses a serious threat for this species. This is due to actions taken in order to protect farm animals, but also due to cultural beliefs.
Some time ago it was believed that maned wolves could put a spell on their prey. As magical properties were attributed to these animals, parts of their bodies were used to make healing talismans or lucky amulets.
Thus it is understandable that the maned wolf tends to shy away from humans. Nina at the Gdańsk Zoo is very mild. You may spot her resting in a paddock near the bird pavilion.
The newly arrived group of gundis consists of four individuals - a male (the father) and three females (the mother and two daughters). These small rodents have come to the Gdańsk Zoo from Düsseldorf.
The species name stems from Arabic and means a guardian. This explains a lot, because gundis are very family-oriented animals and fond of family tenderness - they just love to cuddle together. Young individuals not only snuggle up to their mothers, but also to other family members. They live in colonies of a few or a dozen or so individuals.
Their natural habitat are dry, rocky mountain slopes in northern Africa. They spend most of their days resting in their rocky hiding places. They can easily hide in any crevice, even the tightest. Gundis are nocturnal animals, which means they don’t become active until twilight. Although they may seem very calm, in fact they are extremely lively and jump a lot.
At the Gdańsk Zoo the gundis are displayed at the lion pavilion, where we have strived to imitate their natural habitat.