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Golden lion tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia rosalia)

Golden lion tamarin
Golden lion tamarinGolden lion tamarin

Personal Information
There are five golden lion tamarins at the Zoo: two breeding pairs (Maya and Oura; Iza and Tollo) and a baby, born here at the Zoo in March 2013 to Maya and Ouro. The baby's sex is currently unknown due to its age. Tolo, born in April 2005, arrived at the Zoo in 2009 from the Philadelphia Zoo. Maya, born in April 2004, arrived at the Zoo from the Bronx Zoo in 2006. Ouro, born in November 2006, arrived at the Zoo from BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo in 2009. Iza arrived in April 2013 from Utah's Hogle Zoo.

Status in the Wild
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status: Endangered. There are more than 1,000 golden lion tamarins left in the Brazilian rainforest thanks to vigorous conservation efforts. In 1970, it was estimated that there were only 200 left in the wild. The golden lion tamarin is part of the Zoo's Species Survival Plan program.

Lowland and swamp tropical forests in the eastern rainforests of Brazil. More than 90% of the golden lion tamarin’s habitat has been destroyed by deforestation.

This animal’s diet consists of fruit, nectar, insects, small snakes and lizards.

  • Golden lion tamarins are in the same family as marmosets.
  • The natural enemies of golden lion tamarins are cats, snakes and birds of prey.
  • Golden lion tamarins have fine silky reddish-gold coats with long back swept manes that cover the head, ears and shoulders.
  • Their hands do not grasp as in other primates. Instead, they establish a firm grip with claws.
  • They have acute sight, good hearing and a good sense of smell to help them navigate the forests.
  • A golden lion tamarin is about 8  to 13 inches long and between 1 ½ to 2 pounds in weight.