Zoo Boise, a division of Boise Parks and Recreation, is happy to announce the birth of a cotton-top tamarin. The baby tamarin was born on February 17, 2022, to parents Eddy and Mimi. This is the couple’s first born, but Eddy is already a father from his time at the Rolling Hills Zoo in Kansas.
Guests can visit the cotton-top tamarin family at Zoo Boise’s Small Animal Kingdom. Zoo staff asks that guests keep their voices calm and quiet when viewing the baby to limit any extra stress on the new parents or child. Like cotton-top tamarins in the wild, the baby will be found clinging to either mom or dad until it is old enough to move around on its own. The baby’s mom and dad are excellent parents and already very protective of their young. Zoo staff will determine the sex of the baby during its first veterinarian exam at a future date.
“Both mom and baby are doing well and adjusting to life at the zoo,” said Zoo Boise Director Gene Peacock. “This is an exciting addition to our zoo family and one that will help further our conservation mission and our work to support endangered species.”
At birth, cotton-top tamarins only weigh 1.4 – 1.75 ounces and adults weigh about one pound. Wild cotton-top tamarins are only found in the northwest region of Colombia and are classified as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List.
This birth is very exciting and significant for Zoo Boise. Parents, Eddy and Mimi, have been matched as part of the Cotton-Top Tamarin Species Survival Program (SSP). The SSP is one of many important Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) conservation programs. Its primary role is to serve as a breeding program for selected endangered or threatened species – a special animal dating service, if you will. The goal is to maintain a healthy and genetically diverse population for these animals in order to increase their numbers and be able to reintroduce certain zoo-bred animals into their natural habitats if necessary.
Zoo Boise has turned the act of visiting the zoo into a conservation action. Since 2007, visits to Zoo Boise have generated more than $3 million towards the conservation of animals in the wild, redefining why we have a zoo. Zoo Boise is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, a national organization that supports excellence in animal care, conservation, education, and science.