The Zoo’s latest endangered golden lion tamarin was born last Thursday, August 11 to father Kyle and mother Raff (pronounced Rafe).
The new baby will also share mom and dad with siblings Angus and Boudica.
Tamarins are squirrel-size monkeys with a golden ruff resembling a lion’s mane. At birth, the golden lion tamarin is fully furred with eyes open. It clings to its mother for the first few weeks and nurses for 90 days. At about five weeks, it begins to experience things independently. Zoo staff has not determined the baby’s sex yet. Zoo visitors can spot mom and baby in the Faces of the Rain Forest exhibit.
Native to the tropical forests of Brazil, the golden lion tamarin is listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List. The destruction of ninety percent of the Atlantic coast’s forests for logging and development has played a significant role in its current endangerment.
According to Amy Roberts, the Zoo’s director of animal programs, “Golden lion tamarins are one of 50 species we have here at the Zoo managed under the Species Survival Plan (SSP). The Zoo is one of 150 worldwide participating in the golden lion tamarin SSP.” Roger Williams Park Zoo is a leader in conservation projects and is the recipient of numerous awards for conservation work done locally and around the globe and maintains a reputation as a leader in conservation efforts.
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