Cotton Top tamarins move in at Taronga Zoo

cotton top tamarinFour cotton top tamarins have moved into a bachelor pad at Taronga Zoo. The monkeys will be ambassadors for their species who are at risk from the illegal pet trade.

The four brothers named ‘Petty’ ,’JD’ ,’Wan’ and ‘Trichidae’ recently arrived at Taronga from Mogo Zoo.

The tamarins have been enjoying one of their favourite treats, flowers after their move. They also enjoy maggots, mealworms, locusts, fruits and vegetables as part of their diet.

These entertaining primates come from Colombia and are critically endangered .At Taronga they will be an ambassadors for their critically endangered species.

These fascinating monkeys all have different personalities explained their keeper Kristal Thomson ‘Our four brothers all have very different personalities and there’s a clear social hierarchy, with one always acting like the boss. They can also be very cheeky.’

These tamarins number only 6,000 in the wild now after losing more than 75% of their habitat to deforestation. Another major threat which they face is being captured for the pet trade.

Kristal explained how “Visiting school and tour groups have an opportunity to not only get up close to these endearing creatures, but also learn about the threats facing their wild cousins, including habitat destruction and illegal wildlife trafficking.”

The cotton top tamarins punk rocker hair style and playful nature unfortunately mean they are seen as great pets, but they are a wild animal and have specific care requirements most people cannot meet.

Taronga has partnered with TRAFFIC to come to the rescue. They are out to save the tamarins and other targets of the illegal wildlife trade such as sun bears and orang-utans.

They have developed the wildlife witness app which allows people to take a picture of a wildlife trade, pinpoint the location and send these details directly to TRAFFIC.

The talks about the tamarins will be used to raise awareness of the app.

You can find out more about Wildlife Witness here-

Photo credit: Taronga Zoo

By Cale Russell is a testament to Cale’s commitment to the education of people around the world on the topic of animals and conservation, through the sharing of topical and newsworthy information.

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