I am not a fan of most monkeys. Tamarins, however….supercute!
A male golden lion tamarin at Colchester Zoo has taken the unusual step of babysitting for the other primates that he shares his enclosure with! The tamarin, named Tom, has taken on the role of babysitter for two silvery marmoset youngsters.
The parents Olive and Arthur gave birth to their two babies in March 2011 but since they’ve been about 6 weeks old Tom has been helping out carrying the twins around on his back. Olive and Arthur have shared their enclosure with Tom, the zoo’s oldest golden lion tamarin, since last September when the new complex was opened.
Silvery marmosets are very sociable and the mother will often share the childminding responsibilities with the father and extended family. However it is much more unusual for a different species to fulfil this role and this hasn’t been seen before at Colchester Zoo.
Both species are found in the Amazon rainforests of Brazil and are threatened by the impacts of habitat loss. The silvery marmosets are part of a European Stud book breeding programme that aims to maintain the future populations of this vulnerable species.
Tom can regularly be seen at the zoo’s Worlds Apart enclosure with the two young silvery marmosets on his back. It must be uncomfortable work for the marmosets carrying around twins on their back so it is great to see that these marmosets are co-operating so well with Tom and allowing him to help them out.