Idaho's Zoo Boise proudly announces the newest member of the family - a cotton-top tamarin baby. The female tamarin was born at Zoo Boise on November 6, 2009. Tamarins are small primates from South America; the baby is the first tamarin born at Zoo Boise... (Lead 2 Photos by Shawn Raecke/Idaho Statesman)
After the jump: More photos and a Q & A with The Idaho Statesman
Q: What is a cotton-top tamarin?
A: An endangered primate found in South America; fully grown, it's about the size of a squirrel.
Q: When was she born?
A: Nov. 6, but since her mother was raised in captivity, she never learned how to take care of a baby. Zoo staff has been taking care of the newborn around the clock, with the help of a gibbon doll stuffed with a handwarmer.
"This was not a planned birth," said Lindsay Ruffner, primate/penguin keeper. "We were all very surprised."
It's really hard to tell if a small primate is pregnant. And the baby's mom had a birth control implant, Ruffner said.
Q: What is she eating?
A: Human baby formula and baby food. She prefers fruit but will have to learn to eat her vegetables, said Zoo Boise veterinarian Amanda Guthrie.
Q: What's her life expectancy?
A: Between 12 and 18 years in captivity. Whether she stays in Boise will depend on how well she gets along with her parents.
Q: When can the public see her?
A: Not until she's bigger and more independent; but meanwhile, zoo staff will post videos on Facebook, said spokeswoman Liz Littman. A naming contest is planned next year.