Image: © Potter Park Zoo

Potter Park Zoo Celebrate Cotton Top Tamarin Birth


The Animal Facts Editorial Team


July 15, 2023 7:34 am


Lansing, Michigan, The United States

Potter Park Zoo have welcomed a cotton-top infant to prolific parents Yuri and LG on June 9 2023. This is the fifth infant born to the pair over the past five years marking a substantial contribution to the breeding program for this threatened species. With its latest addition their are now eight cotton-top tamarins in the zoo’s family.

“We are thrilled to witness the continued reproductive success of our cotton-top tamarin pair, Yuri and LG,” said Dr. Ronan Eustace, Director of Animal Health at Potter Park Zoo. “Their offspring not only contribute to the long-term survival of this endangered species but also serve as ambassadors for conservation and education.” 

Cotton-top tamarins form groups in which a single monogamous pair breed with other members supporting them to raise the infants. This also helps to provide valuable child-rearing experience to the offspring of the pair as they grow. They will continue providing care to the infant until it becomes independent around 5 months old.

This species is increasingly threatened in their native South America with pressures on their survival including the illegal wildlife trade and the expansion of agricultural activities. Fewer than 2,000 remain in the wilds of Colombia.

Potter Park Zoo are part of a captive breeding effort for the species with approximately 200 cotton-top tamarins residing in 60 AZA zoos throughout the United States. These individuals form the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) which makes recommendations on what individuals should breed together to ensure continued genetic diversity.

Guests can meet the cotton-top tamarin family in the reptile house at the Potter Park Zoo.

Cotton Top Tamarin Baby Potter Park Zoo

A cotton-top tamarin infant born on June 9 2023 at the Potter Park Zoo is held by an adult member of its troop. Image: © Potter Park Zoo

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More on the Cotton-Top Tamarin!

With a punk rocker hair style the cotton-top tamarin is one of the coolest animals in the South American rainforest. Find out why with our fact file.

Our Favourite Cotton-Top Tamarin Fact!

Their nails, known as “tegulae” have developed to be claw like helping them to climb trees.

Image: © Potter Park Zoo

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