31/08/2017

Endangered golden-headed lion tamarin triplets born at Bristol Zoo Gardens

Bristol Zoo Gardens is leading the way in helping to save critically endangered golden-headed lion tamarin monkeys.

The 180-year-old Zoo has just welcomed new triplets and they are thriving.

In their native Brazil it is estimated there are fewer than 14,000 golden-headed lion tamarins left in the wild so every birth is precious.

The triplets were born at the Zoo in Clifton to dad Blondie and mum Bee who are both keeping a watchful eye on them.

Keepers at the Zoo do not yet know what sex they are. In fact it could be six months before they can get close enough to be sure.

But the triplets are doing well and although they are still suckling they have started eating food including meal worms.

Mammal keeper Olivia Perkins said: “The fact that they have done so well is testament to Blondie for sharing parental responsibilities.”

The triplet’s siblings also help carry the infants to give mum a break and learn vital child rearing skills. They are the latest of 13 babies to be born to Bee and Blondie in the past couple of years.

Olivia said: “We have one of the largest groups in captivity in Europe. Our success is possibly due to Bee and Blondie’s strong partnership.

“They also have plenty of  space so there is room for the new additions to the group.

“More than 90 per cent of the original Atlantic coastal forest in eastern Brazil where they live has been lost or fragmented through agriculture or urban and resort development.

In addition, the capture of animals for laboratories and the exotic pet trade has contributed to their decline.

Zoos across the world, including Bristol Zoo, are working to try to save the golden headed lion tamarins from extinction.

 

 

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