Potter Park Zoo announces birth of critically endangered species

The new additions were born on Oct. 2.
Potter Park Zoo welcomes two baby cotton-top tamarins
Potter Park Zoo welcomes two baby cotton-top tamarins(Kaiti Chritz | Potter Park Zoo | Kaiti Chritz | Potter Park Zoo)
Published: Nov. 10, 2020 at 11:03 AM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Tuesday Potter Park Zoo announced that cotton-top tamarin parents LF and Yuri welcomed two offspring. The birth is significant for the endangered species and is the third successful birth for the parents at the zoo.

The pair were born on Oct. 2 and join a pair born in October 2018 and a second pair in June 2019. All eight tamarins are living in a family group. Older siblings help take care of the younger ones by alloparenting, which helps younger tamarins develop skills to raise their own offspring while relieving stress on the parents.

Zoo staff say the two babies are actively nursing and exploring their environment and will become independent at around 5 months.

The zoo was recommended to breed the pair by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan. Across the country, there are 60 accredited AZA zoos with a total of 200 cotton-top tamarins.

“The tamarin babies will have their first full veterinarian exam soon, which will be the animal care team’s first chance at determining the gender of the babies," said Potter Park Zoo Animal Care Supervisor Pat Fountain. “No plans have been made for naming the two babies so far, but watch the zoo’s Facebook page for updates.”

There are only about 6,000 cotton-top tamarins left in the wild. Their forest habitat in Colombia is almost 95% destroyed.

The area where the cotton-top tamarins live remains closed to the public. Updates on the two new additions can be found on the zoo’s social media pages and blog.

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