The Chattanooga Zoo announced the birth of a golden lion tamarin. The infant was born to first time parents, Fuego and Caliente, at the Chattanooga Zoo on July 1.
"The parents and infant are all doing great," officials said. "This successful birth is an incredibly important step towards the Chattanooga Zoo’s efforts to help conserve the golden lion tamarin in the wild.
"Golden lion tamarins are small, social South American primates found in the jungles of Brazil. These tamarins are labeled as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, mostly due to threats of habitat loss. Once down to under 500 individuals in the wild, intensive efforts have been taken by multiple organizations, including multiple American zoological institutions and the Brazilian Government, to help recover this population."
Stacy Laberdee, general curator states, “We are honored to have a hand in the conservation of this important species through our work with the Species Survival Plan. The birth of a healthy, genetically diverse golden lion tamarin is something to celebrate and should be considered a great success for conservation.”
In efforts to conserve this species in the wild, parents Fuego and Caliente, both five years old, were placed together at the Chattanooga Zoo through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan in the fall of 2017.
"Fuego came to us through the SSP from Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, NY and Caliente came to us from Topeka Zoological Park in Topeka, Ks. Upon their arrival, they were introduced and connected immediately. This family of three is the first group of golden lion tamarins the Chattanooga Zoo has housed and we are especially pleased with the quick success of breeding this species," officials said.
Chattanooga Zoo President and CEO Darde Long stated, “After all the hard work of our incredible staff, this joyous birth is so rewarding. It is vital to the animals that we continue these conservation programs and help re-establish their populations in the wild. This international partnership is essential to achieving this goal.”
"Since the golden lion tamarin was born on exhibit in the La Selva Amazonica building, the infant will stay with the parents on exhibit, and we welcome all guests to come visit. As the infant is still a newborn and our proud parents are experiencing higher stress levels at this time, we do ask that all visitors are respectful of this and refrain from any intentional disturbances," officials said.