We are saddened to share that one of our cotton-top tamarin triplets has passed away.
We recently announced that our cotton-top tamarins, Luna and Cricket, had their three babies on November 5. The announcement was delayed as we gave them time to acclimate as first-time parents.
On November 11, keepers noticed that one of the babies had trouble clinging to their parents. After consulting an expert in this species, keepers intervened, including giving the infant formula, fluid therapy and thermal support. Although the newborn had the strength to cling to their parent by the evening, the infant was found deceased by keepers in the morning.
Although our keepers have been successful in hand raising other animals, this would not have been possible with this species. A hand-raised cotton-top tamarin wouldn’t be accepted back with its parents – and the infant would eventually become aggressive toward people and other monkeys.
A necropsy, which is done for every animal death, did not find that the infant had any significant illness or defect. “We saw that their stomach was empty, which may mean this infant was the ‘odd one out’ of the triplets,” said Dr. Trevor Zachariah, our Zoo’s Director of Veterinary Programs.
“Parental care was good, but three may just have been too many for them to take care of,” Dr. Zachariah said.
Every animal death is a huge loss to our Zoo staff and community. While we are devastated at the loss of this infant, we are thankful that our two remaining infants continue to do well under the care of Luna and Cricket.
We will continue to monitor the family very closely and provide as much assistance as we can, if needed.
Fencing remains in front of the cotton-top tamarin habitat in an effort to give the family privacy. We ask guests to take care while getting close to the habitat. Someone staring too long, banging on the glass or being loud could cause the family stress.