Parents, Isabella and Marquis, have courted for five years. The twins have a big sister named Cadeau. The two-year-old moved to the Staten Island Zoo in September.
But these new babies are also special because the Racine Zoo and the Como Zoo in St. Paul Minnesota are the only zoos to have been able to breed this type of tamarin, according to a press release by the Racine Zoo.
“We couldn’t be happier for the baby tamarin twins,” said Crystal Champeau-Williams, the primary primate specialist for the zoo. “Our breeding pair is such a great couple; we hope to be have wonderful possibilities for them down the road.”
Wild emperor tamarins usually live along large rivers in western Amazonia. This includes the lowland tropical rain forest in parts of Peru, Brazil and Bolivia. The number of wild emperor tamarins is on the decline because of deforestation.
“The Racine Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and part of the Special Survival Plan,” said Elizabeth Heidorn, the executive director of the Racine Zoo. “We are proud to help increase the conservation of the endangered species for generations to come. The tamarins are playful little animals that deserve a bright outlook.”