September 2016 (Sanford, FL) – The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is very excited to announce the birth of three cotton-top tamarins! The babies were born this past Tuesday, September 19. They were born on exhibit, so guests that were at the Zoo on Tuesday were able to see the babies already clinging to the mother’s back as she moved around the habitat. The entire family now includes a mother and father, four older siblings, and three newborns. Come see the family at the Zoo from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.
The Zoo’s cotton-top tamarins are part of a Species Survival Plan (SSP) through the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). The SSP is a managed breeding program that is coordinated between zoos across North America. This program allows zoos to help save species that are vanishing in the wild. Cotton-top tamarins, which are native to South America, are critically endangered in the wild due to habitat loss. The Central Florida Zoo also participates in SSPs for greater one-horned rhino, red-ruffed lemur, African crested porcupine, two-toed sloth, black handed spider monkey, and more.
“This birth is very exciting for the Zoo because it allows us to continue our mission of educating our community about the conservation of animals,” says Shonna Green, Director, Communications and Community Resources. “These young tamarins will excite and entertain our guests, but also inspire them to learn what they can do to help this species.”
Cotton-top tamarins usually give birth to twins, so the Zoo is very excited about our triplets. Tamarins live in large, social groups, and when not foraging for food, they spend much of their time grooming. Multiple tamarins in a group assist in raising the young. The father and siblings may be seen carrying the babies around on their backs, while mother takes a rest or eats food. Cotton-top tamarins feed on fruit, insects, vegetation, small vertebrates, and bird eggs. Their long tails assist in balance while they travel through the trees.