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2013 A Golden Year for Golden-Lion Tamarins Housed at Micke Grove Zoo

A golden-lion tamarin was born on November 24 at the Micke Grove Zoo and was the second infant to survive its first few critical weeks following birth in 2013. The small tamarin is housed with its mother, “Rio”, father “Jesse”, and three sisters. Two of the sisters are twins born nearly two years ago and the third sister was born on February 1. The infant’s sex will be determined when it is old enough for veterinarians to conduct an examination.
“The little one is at that cute stage where he or she is starting to explore and get more curious about everything,” stated Animal Care Specialist Julie Rosenthal, the tamarin family’s primary keeper.
The large tamarin family resides in an enclosure located on the south side of the Zoo near the future bobcat exhibit. The golden-lion tamarin infant and its family may be viewed at the Micke Grove Zoo every day between 10:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M.
“Golden-lion tamarins are very exciting animals to see at the zoo,” said Allison Meador, Director of Education for the Micke Grove Zoological Society. “Not only are they acrobatic daredevils adapted to move fast through the tree tops, they are a close-knit family whose members help take care of each other much like humans do.”
Named for their golden-orange fur and mane-like hair surrounding their heads, golden-lion tamarins are small neo-tropical monkeys that live in family groups consisting of several generations. In these families, older siblings aid in caring for new young which help them develop important parenting skills. Micke Grove Zoo also houses a second family group consisting of Jesse’s parents and his younger siblings. Jesse gained much of his parenting skills by caring for his own siblings.
The species’ native habitat is an extremely small section of Brazilian rainforest which has been negatively impacted by deforestation and habitat fragmentation. The World Conservation Union categorizes golden-lion tamarins as Endangered in the red list for threatened species. Conservation breeding and field conservation efforts have helped increase wild populations from 200-300 individuals to more than a 1000 today.
“Micke Grove Zoo has been successfully breeding golden-lion tamarins in captivity and plays an integral role in the AZA’s (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) Species Survival Plan (SSP),” shared Avanti Mallapur, Curator for the Micke Grove Zoo. “There have been 23 births at our facility, which has increased the population numbers of this species by 2.3%. Micke Grove Zoo uses opportunities such as these to share conservation issues with the visiting public.”
Micke Grove Zoo is located within San Joaquin County’s Micke Grove Regional Park in Lodi and has been a wonderful community resource for the last 56 years. The Zoo is open daily from 10AM to 5PM except for Christmas and is a very popular destination for families and school groups. More information about the zoo is available at
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