BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut Beardsley Zoo is welcoming a new baby golden lion tamarin!
The baby, born fully furred with its eyes open, was born to mother Cricket and father Leao earlier this month. It will spend the first few weeks clinging to its mother or father’s back. Typically, the father usually cares for a newborn lion tamarin while the mother only takes it in for nursing.
The birth is not only exciting news for the zoo, but also golden lion tamarins across the world. This breed is threatened by collection for pet trade, habitat loss, and habitat fragmentation. Although conservation efforts have helped increase their population, golden lion tamarins are still classified as an endangered species.
Their forest habitat has been reduced to only two percent of its original area amid deforestation for sugar cane and coffee production, cattle grazing, logging, charcoal, and urbanization.
Golden lion tamarins are found only in southeast Brazil and live primarily in the trees.
“There are only about 2,500 golden lion tamarins remaining in the wild, and a third of those are descended from GLTs raised in human care,” Zoo Director Gregg Dancho said. “We’re proud of our contribution to the restoration of this species, with babies born here released in Brazil to help stabilize the population.”
Dancho said the new baby is an important part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA’s) Species Survival Plan (SSP), which aims to preserve golden lion tamarins for future generations to come.
Find tickets to the zoo to view the newborn lion here.