Welsh Mountain Zoo celebrates birth of critically endangered cotton-top tamarin twins

The Welsh Mountain Zoo is celebrating the birth of two critically endangered cotton-top tamarins.

The twins have yet to be sexed but keepers at the zoo in Colwyn Bay say they are doing well and showing behaviours that they would like to see.

The National Zoo of Wales has a track record of breeding critically endangered species and the breeding of the cotton-top tamarins is part of a coordinated European breeding programme.

One of the world’s smallest primates, the species is found in tropical forests in north west Colombia.

It is at risk due to large-scale habitat destruction and is classified as critically endangered with only around 6,000 individuals left in the wild.

Weighing just 20 grams and measuring 5cm from head to tail at birth, the twins are already growing at a rapid pace and join five other cotton-top tamarins in Colwyn Bay.

The cotton-top tamarin is recognised by the long, white sagittal crest extending from its forehead to shoulders.

Charlotte Dykes, marketing manager at the zoo, said: “The arrival of the twins at Christmas is a cause to celebrate here at the Zoo.

“Cotton-top tamarins are amongst the world’s most endangered species and new births will help us ensure their continued survival. 

“The babies are now venturing outside, within their enclosures, and are becoming more adventurous and inquisitive, which are behaviours we like to see at this stage.”

The species are unique in their appearance with their bright white mains and an old, wise facial appearance.

After a brief period away from public eyes, visitors to the zoo will now be able to see the twins.

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