The Good Zoo staff recently announced the birth of twin golden lion tamarin monkeys on February 17, 2015. “The entire family is on exhibit in the zoo’s Main Building and include father Rio, mother Carmen, two-year-old twins Vasco and Tupi, one-year-old old twins Candido and Godoi, and the two newest additions” said Mindi White, Curator of Animals.
Golden lion tamarins are endangered primates from South America that typically live in small groups. “All members of the group help care for the infants and take turns carrying them,” said White. “Since the twins can weigh up to 20% of the mother’s weight it helps her tremendously to have help from the rest of the group. Younger animals also benefit from the experience when it comes time to raise their own offspring.”
The Good Zoo tamarins are part of a cooperative global breeding program among zoos across the U.S. “The wild population in Brazil has been severely impacted by deforestation with less than 5% of suitable habitat remaining. Golden lion tamarins are classified as extremely endangered; scientists estimate a wild population of only 1,500 tamarins left in the wild,” said White. Tamarins born in U.S. zoos have successfully been released in the wild for restocking efforts.
“The zoo staff received a breeding recommendation in 2013 from the Golden Lion Tamarin Species Survival Plan and has worked hard with zoo colleagues around the country to develop the optimum conditions to breed this rare species at the Good Zoo,” added White.
The Good Zoo is currently open Saturday and Sunday only, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and admission is $8.95 for adults, $5.75 for ages 3-12, and free to members and ages 2 and under. Lorikeet Landing will open March 14, weather permitting, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday Sunday. The zoo will be open daily beginning April 1.
The 4th Annual Capture the Wild Photography Contest started March 1. “Nature photography is a wonderful way for kids and adults to appreciate nature in all of it strange and beautiful forms,” said White. Entries are due by August 1, 2015.
For more information on all activities at the zoo call the zoo office at 304-243-4100 or visit http://www.oglebay-resort.com/goodzoo/index.htm.