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Golden-headed lion tamarin

Can you guess what they are named for?

If you’ve visited the Zoo, you’ve likely met a lot of our more than 900 animal residents. Some animals are easy to spot, but others are often not as easy to see because of their habitat set up, their personalities or their sleep cycles among other things. We wanted to start a “Meet the Animals” section of our blog to introduce you to some of the residents that you may (or may not have) met yet!

Wander into our Rainforest Revealed section of the Zoo and you’ll be immersed in the sights, sounds and smells of the rainforest. You never know what you might spot – from a jaguar traversing a tunnel overhead to giant otters diving into the water. Many primates call this loop home, including two small, colorful individuals named Brissa and Eduardo.

These 12-year-old siblings are golden-headed lion tamarins! Brissa, who was born at the Zoo in February 2011, and Eduardo, who was born at the Zoo in September 2010, have the same parents. They live in a habitat we call “Tamarin Trek” with two-toed sloths Sammy and Dustin, white-faced saki monkey Stitch and yellow-footed tortoise Timmy. Their space is located across from our white-nosed coatis in Rainforest Revealed.

According to Rainforest Revealed Area Supervisor Michelle Johnston, Brissa and Eduardo are usually most active in the mornings and later evenings. “During the day, they are often found taking a nap together in a hammock near the front of their habitat,” said Michelle. They even groom each other!

When it comes to their personalities, Michelle described Brissa as the more dominant of the two, while Eduardo is a little more shy. Both tamarins love to take snacks from their keepers.

At the Zoo, this duo is offered a mixture of vegetables, worms and tamarin gel, which includes a lot of essential vitamins and nutrients. They get fruit as a training snack!

According to Michelle, Brissa and Eduardo can be quite the sneaky pair. “They will sometimes steal food from the mouths of the sloths,” she said. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t the best of friends. “Brissa and Eduardo love to bury themselves and sleep up against the sloths during the wintertime for warmth!”

On your next visit to the Zoo, swing by Rainforest Revealed to see if you can spot this colorful pair!

Golden-headed lion tamarins are known for the full, colorful fur around their face resembling a lion’s mane. This species is native to Brazil and is listed as endangered due to habitat loss. Here are a few tips to help:

  • When you drink Bird Friendly Coffee, you are supporting farms that grow coffee in a way that helps migratory birds – and other forest dwelling animals – live their best lives in healthy habitats!
  • E-waste, or electronic waste from old phones, computers, cords and similar products, is one of the fastest growing types of waste in the world, and when not disposed of properly, it can cause environmental harm. Bring your old phones and tablets to Brevard Zoo to recycle through eco-cell! A drop-off point is just outside the Zoo’s front entrance.

Brevard Zoo is an independent, not-for-profit organization that receives no recurring government funding for our operating costs. Your generous support enables us to continue to serve our community and continue our vital animal wellness, education and conservation programs.