Endangered monkey gives birth to twins

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TOPEKA, Kan. – Zoo staff welcomed two new additions to the zoo family this morning.  Devra, a 3-year-old Golden Lion Tamarin, gave birth to twins.

Parents Devra, from the Santa Ana Zoo, and Charlie, from the Woodland Park Zoo, arrived in Topeka in December 2012 at the recommendation of the Golden Lion Tamarin Species Survival Plan.  All GLT’s in North America are part of an active conservation program and are on loan from the Brazilian government.

After being introduced and successfully clearing quarantine processes, they were moved to their habitat at the zoo’s Tropical Rain Forest earlier this year, where they have been on public display.

This is the first offspring for both tamarins.  The tamarins will not be viewable to the public for the next seven to ten days.  “This is a first time mom,” Zoo Director Brendan Wiley said.  “We want to make sure she gets every opportunity to help her newborns survive.  The first hurdle to overcome is knowing that the newborns are nursing.  We haven’t observed this yet.”

While the Tamarin family is not on display, the zoo will post daily updates and baby pictures on its Facebook page.  “It’s very early in the lives of two newborn monkeys but we still want the community to be able to be involved during this special time,” Wiley said.  Visit the Zoo’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/topekazoo .

GLT’s are found in only a small part of the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.

  • The largest threat to Golden Lion Tamarins is deforestation.
  • In 1983, the wild population had dwindled to as few as 150 individuals.  Thanks to a reintroduction of 500 tamarins from zoo breeding programs, the wild population is now just more than 1000.
  • GLT’s typically give birth to twins.
  • A newborn GLT weighs on average 2 ounces.
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