This week keepers at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust were delighted to welcome a healthy male Black Lion Tamarin, the first born in captivity outside of Brazil in eight years! Mark Brayshaw, Head of Durrell’s animal collection said, “This baby is incredibly important to the European Endangered Species Program. There is still a very long way to go to ensure that the captive population’s viability is assured, but this is most definitely a step in the right direction.”
This baby has been named Francisco after the Head of Durrell’s Veterinary Department who delivered him. He is the first healthy baby born to new mum Roxanne, who has previously lost two babies and suffered several miscarriages. Due to her previous problems the decision was made to monitor her four and a half month pregnancy carefully and to deliver the baby by caesarean section at the appropriate time. You can see a video below that includes the C-section at the end.
So far both mother and baby are doing well. The infant is being hand-reared and syringe fed every two hours throughout the day and night. Over the next few weeks they will slowly teach him to lap milk from a dish; when he is able to do this successfully he can be returned to his family.
The video below contains grahic but fascinating footage of the actual c-section operation.