05/06/2018

Latest arrival is as precious as gold

​Bristol Zoo Gardens’ latest arrival is the colour of gold and just as precious.

It is a golden lion tamarin born to mum, Missy, and dad, Dourado.

The infant is precious because it is part of a vital conservation programme to help safeguard the future of its species.

Sarah Gedman, mammals’ team leader at Bristol Zoo Gardens, said: ‘We are very pleased that we have had another successful golden lion tamarin birth here at Bristol Zoo.

“Both mum and dad are taking turns looking after the newest addition to their family and sibling Diego is gaining invaluable experience on how to raise offspring of his own in the future.”

In their native Brazil where people are destroying their forest habitat there are estimated to be around 3,200 golden lion tamarins left in the wild.

Happily this latest golden lion tamarin is safe at Bristol Zoo Gardens where it spends its days being carried around by its mum.

It will be some time before keepers at the Zoo are able to identify the sex of the little golden lion tamarin.

It weighs just 50g, is 10cm (4ins) long and is suckling at the moment but will soon move onto nibbling solid food.

This is the second golden lion tamarin to be born at the 181-year-old Zoo in the past 12 months.

Golden lion tamarins are named after the miniature lion-like manes and live in trees foraging on invertebrates and fruits. They also opportunistically eat tree saps.

Brazil’s Atlantic coastal forests where they are found are disappearing due to logging, agriculture and industry which has put their future at risk.

However, thanks to zoos, golden lion tamarins have become one of the world’s major conservation success stories.

They were downlisted from Critically Endangered to Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature ICUN Red List in 2003 as a result of 30 years of conservation efforts.

About a third of the current wild population of this species are descendants of zoo-born individuals that were reintroduced into their native habitat in the early 1990s.

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