The Chattanooga Zoo is excited to announce the birth of a Golden Lion Tamarin. The infant was born to first time parents, Fuego and Caliente, on July 1. The Zoo reports that parents and infant are all doing great!
This successful birth is marked as an incredibly important step towards the Chattanooga Zoo’s efforts to help conserve the Golden Lion Tamarin in the wild.
The Golden Lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia) is a small, social South American primate found in the jungles of Brazil. They are currently classified as “Endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), mostly due to threats of habitat loss.
At one time, their wild population was noted as under 500 individuals. However, intensive efforts have been taken by multiple organizations, including multiple American zoological institutions and the Brazilian Government, to help recover this population.
Stacy Laberdee, General Curator stated, “We are honored to have a hand in the conservation of this important species through our work with the Species Survival Plan. The birth of a healthy, genetically diverse Golden Lion Tamarin is something to celebrate and should be considered a great success for conservation.”
In an effort to conserve this species in the wild, Fuego and Caliente (both 5-years-old), were placed together at the Chattanooga Zoo through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) in the fall of 2017. Fuego arrived at the Zoo through the SSP from Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, NY and Caliente came from Topeka Zoological Park in Topeka, KS. Upon their arrival, they were introduced and connected immediately. This new family of three is the first group of Golden Lion Tamarins the Chattanooga Zoo has housed and they are especially pleased with the quick success of breeding this species.
President and CEO of the Chattanooga Zoo, Darde Long, stated, “After all the hard work of our incredible staff, this joyous birth is so rewarding. It is vital to the animals that we continue these conservation programs and help re-establish their populations in the wild. This international partnership is essential to achieving this goal.”