Cotton-Top Tamarin Twins Born at Zoo Boise

Mar 16, 2023

tiger licking cage

Zoo Boise, a division of Boise Parks and Recreation, is happy to announce the birth of twin cotton-top tamarins on February 28 to parents Eddy and Mimi. The twins join Zoo Boise’s growing tamarin family, as big brother, Rockford, was born in 2022. Zoo staff will learn the sex of the new babies during their first veterinarian exam at a future date.

Guests can visit the newly expanded cotton-top tamarin family at the Small Animal Kingdom of Zoo Boise. Like cotton-top tamarins in the wild, the twins can be found clinging to mom or dad until they are old enough to move around on their own. Eddie and Mimi have proven to be excellent parents and are very protective of their young. Zoo Boise encourages guests to keep their voices calm and quiet when viewing the babies to limit any extra stress on the new family.

“It is always exciting to announce new arrivals at Zoo Boise, and even more special when the babies are born at our zoo,” said Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway. “These extremely adorable twin tamarin babies advance our conservation work at Zoo Boise and serve a crucial role in contributing to their species, which is critically endangered in South America.”

At birth, cotton-top tamarins only weigh about 1.5 ounces, while 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.

The birth of the twins is very exciting and significant for Zoo Boise. Parents, Eddy and Mimi, were 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.