Ta­marin mon­keys born at zoo

The Wellingtonian - - Front Page - RUBY MACANDREW

Welling­ton Zoo got a cute sur­prise early on Fri­day morn­ing, with the birth of two crit­i­cally en­dan­gered cot­ton-top tamarins.

First-time par­ents Ce­leste and Este­ban wel­comed the healthy pair af­ter an al­most year-long courtship.

Within a few hours of be­ing born, the tiny, furry ta­marin ba­bies have been spot­ted hitch­ing a ride on their par­ents’ backs.

How­ever, the ba­bies’ sexes will not be known for some time with zoo keepers keen to re­main hands-off for as long as pos­si­ble, Welling­ton Zoo’s Ash How­ell said.

‘‘It’s still early days so the pri­mate team will be keep­ing a close eye on the new fam­ily.’’

Cot­ton-top tamarins, which are only found in Colom­bia, share par­ent­ing du­ties so it was likely both Este­ban and Ce­leste would take turns car­ry­ing the twins, al­though How­ell said it looked liked the pair al­ready had a favourite. ‘‘The first-time par­ents are do­ing ex­tremely well and the ba­bies have been seen cling­ing to dad’s back.

Ta­marin mon­keys are crit­i­cally en­dan­gered in the wild and the Welling­ton Zoo birth gives a much-needed boost to the cap­tive pop­u­la­tion and in­ter­na­tional con­ser­va­tion breed­ing pro­gramme.

Be­fore ar­riv­ing at the zoo a year ago, the two par­ents had never met with Este­ban hav­ing come from Black­pool Zoo in the UK and Ce­leste from Bratislava Zoo in Slo­vakia.

First-time dad Este­ban has taken to par­ent­ing quickly with the new twins seen cling­ing to his back. WELLING­TON ZOO

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.