A Golden Lion Tamarin, an endangered species, was born one week ago today at the Chattanooga Zoo.
“It’s always exciting when a new animal is born at the Chattanooga Zoo. It’s a great indicator that the parents are healthy and comfortable in their habitat, and it’s a big win for conservation. But when the animal born is an important piece in the conservation puzzle, that gives a whole new reason to celebrate” said Lacey Hickle, Chattanooga Zoo general curator.
The tiny tamarin, named Tamale for his bright orange coat, was born on June 11, sometime in the early morning hours. He weighs just 59 grams according to his first physical exam, and the newest ZOOborn just happens to be a boy.
"Both the baby and his family are doing extremely well. He is thriving, strong and spends his time hanging onto his mom (Caliente), dad (Fuego), and older brother (Picante), who share the habitat space with him," officials said. "At just one week old, baby Tamale is a fireball, grabbing the attention of every guest who happens to walk by.
"Found in the rainforests of Southeastern Brazil, Golden Lion Tamarins in the wild are facing many threats, and are officially classified as endangered. In fact, at one time, their wild population was considered to be under 500 individuals. However, due to intensive efforts taken by multiple organizations, including American zoological institutions and the Brazilian Government, there are an estimated 2500 living in the wild. Currently, deforestation, habitat fragmentation and poaching are of greatest concern. The Species Survival Plan, which operates alongside Accredited institutions like the Chattanooga Zoo, works to maximize genetic diversity in endangered species like the Golden Lion Tamarin. Parents, Caliente and Fuego are a recommended breeding pair, according to the SPP."
“I’m so incredibly proud that the Chattanooga Zoo has the chance to play a part in the conservation of Golden Lion Tamarins. This amazing species deserves to be protected, and we are thrilled that we can contribute to the genetic diversity of the population in AZA institutions," said President & CEO Darde Long.