Iworo

The iworo is an unknown canid inhabiting the jungles of the Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo province in southwestern Guyana near the Brazilian border. It is described as a large wolf-like animal, larger than the crab-eating fox and bush dog—the only known native Guyanese canids. They are crepuscular, solitary, make a very frightening call, and are omnivorous, frequently stealing pineapples from plantations and farms. Due to the iworo only living deep in the Amazon rainforest, there are few recorded sightings. 


One of the few sightings was by marine biologist William Beebe, who mentions it in his 1917 book Tropical Wildlife in British Guiana. He writes that he, and his acquaintance, Christopher Davis, saw an iworo cross a trail to a pineapple plantation. Upon not finding any, the iworo made its distinct call and repeated the same action at another plantation. Davis described the iworo as a wolf. 


Some theorize the iworo is a misidentified crab-eating fox, as they are sometimes called “iworo”, and are also crepuscular canids, although Beebe has seen both and clearly differentiated the two species. Others have speculated the iworo is an unknown population of short-eared dogs, not normally thought to inhabit Guyana. This would not be surprising, as short-eared dogs are notoriously elusive and understudied. Short-eared dogs are also omnivorous, crepuscular, and solitary, like the iworo.

The Guyanese rainforest

The Guyanese rainforest

A short-eared dog with a fruit in its mouth

A short-eared dog with a fruit in its mouth