Awwww…..Colchester zoo strikes again…

I am not a fan of most monkeys. Tamarins, however….supercute!

Here’s a happy little story from Colchester Zoo.

Colchester Zoo’s golden lion tamarin helps out to baby-sit for other zoo primates!

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.

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8 Responses to Awwww…..Colchester zoo strikes again…

  1. Emmy says:

    Thanks for the information on them. They are beautiful. I’m not much of a primate person but recently I’ve been more compelled by their plight. I wish they wouldn’t breed them – some augmentation is fine but they tend to “make” hundreds of the critters and then release them into a place that can’t even support the existing ones. I’m glad you pointed out habitat loss though, will remind me to watch what wood products I buy! 😉

  2. pyrit says:

    Awww, mini magnanimous monkeys!
    I like petite primates.

  3. Aww! Tamarins are among my favorites too! They’re super-protective parents and share childcare duties with other tamarins in their clan. But seeing an older male taking care of another species’ babies is special. If only human males would learn from this….

  4. 1petermcc says:

    I’ve gotta ask about the names Olive and Arthur. Are they named for the couple in the old British sit com On the Buses?

    I so I’m struggling to see the connection but you Brits usually have some clever reasoning when it comes to names.

  5. geologywoman says:

    We took Kerstin to Colchester Zoo. It is a wonderful place. I have seen this very cute monkey! I am with you, I am not a monkey person. I prefer horses, goats, cows, sheep, turtles, chickens, llamas, alpacas…and of course, rabbits.

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