Oregon Zoo welcomes pair of cotton-top tamarin babies - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon Zoo welcomes pair of cotton-top tamarin babies

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A pair of critically endangered cotton-top tamarins born at the Oregon Zoo last month can now be seen in the Fragile Forests area, riding on the backs of their mom and dad. Photo by Michael Durham, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo. A pair of critically endangered cotton-top tamarins born at the Oregon Zoo last month can now be seen in the Fragile Forests area, riding on the backs of their mom and dad. Photo by Michael Durham, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.
Courtesy Oregon Zoo. Courtesy Oregon Zoo.
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The Oregon Zoo has two new furry-faced residents: a couple of 3-week-old cotton-top tamarin siblings.

Some visitors may have already spotted the new zoo arrivals on the backs of their parents, Mariposa and Carl, in the Fragile Forests habitat.

Mariposa gave birth to the babies just about three weeks ago but their genders are unknown. Zoo staff know at least one of the babies is a girl, since she had a vet visit for a tumble recently.

While the other baby’s gender is pending, both already have names: Grillo and Mariquita (Spanish for cricket and ladybug, respectively). The names were chosen as an homage to their mom’s name – Mariposa is Spanish for butterfly.

Cotton-top tamarins, who are native to Colombia, are some of the world’s smallest primates. At full size, they usually weigh less than a pound – similar to the size of a squirrel.

“The babies are growing fast,” said Oregon Zoo curator Becca Van Beek, who oversees the primate area. “Mom and dad have been keeping them close, but they’re alert and curious. Now that they’ve opened their eyes, they should be easier for visitors to spot.”

The zoo is excited about the babies as cotton-top tamarins are considered critically endangered. There are about 6,000 cotton-top tamarins currently living in the wild.

“We hope these two will serve as inspiration for people to get involved and help cotton-tops,” Van Beek said. “This is a species that is sharply declining in the wild, but hopefully we can start a new chapter in their conservation.”

Anyone interested in learning more about cotton-top tamarins can visit OregonZoo.org

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