LOUISVILLE ZOO MEDIA RELEASE

November 26, 2013

CONTACT: Kyle Shepherd

502-238-5331
(Media Cell for press inquiries only: 502-744-5639)

kyle.shepherd@louisvilleky.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New Maned Wolf and Four New Meerkats
make Louisville Zoo debut

“Rocko” a one-and-a- half year old male maned wolf and four new male meerkats made their Zoo debut recently after clearing the mandatory 30 day quarantine for all new animals.

Rocko joins us from the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Right now he is the only maned wolf on exhibit across from flamingos. The Zoo hopes to add a female soon. He is distinguishable by his dark coat around his shoulders. His zoo keepers observe that he has a lot of energy and uses every corner of the yard.

Four new male meerkats joined us recently from the Gladys Porter Zoo in South Texas. Named for characters on the Hit CBS television show “The Big Bang Theory” – Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Rajesh – join the existing female, Penny, also a character from the show.  The new males include the father and his three offspring who are a year old. A group of meerkats is called a mob. This mob is quite active running between the outdoor and indoor areas of their exhibit near Gorilla Forest.

The Zoo will be closed Thanksgiving Day but reopen on Friday. Rocko and the meerkats will be on exhibit weather permitting.

Maned Wolf facts

Their range is Brazil, Northern Argentina, Paraguay, Eastern Bolivia and Southeastern Peru. Their habitats are South American grasslands and scrub forest. They are about 3 feet tall and weigh between 50 and 55 pounds. In zoos they can live to be 12 to 15 years old. Listed as endangered with the main threat due to habitat loss, and disease transferred from domestic dogs.

Meerkat facts

Their range is Southern Africa: Southwestern Angola, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. Their habitat is dry, open country or semi-arid plains, commonly with hard or stony ground, savanna, to bush areas. Meerkats generally avoid wooded areas and dense vegetation, preferring scrub areas. They average about 20 inches tall and weigh between 1.5 and 2 pounds. Meerkats do not appear to be in danger of extinction, however loss of habitat is believed to have reduced their numbers.

 ***

About Louisville Zoo

The Louisville Zoo, a non-profit organization and state zoo of Kentucky, is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

# # #