A critically endangered monkey has welcomed two adorable twins at Drusilla’s Park.
Cotton-top tamarin Florencia gave birth to the two babies at the end of last month, and they are now starting to explore the world whilst clinging tightly to their father Pasto’s back.
Cotton-top tamarins are one of the most endangered primates in South America, so the news of their birth has been very exciting indeed.
The cheeky little monkeys have always been a popular attraction at the zoo and the two tiny fluff balls have been delighting visitors and making excellent progress.
The mum and dad, who had been keeping their youngsters closely protected for the first few weeks, have now started to show their little ones off, proudly parading them around on their backs.
Newborn tamarins are carried around by their father, and only handed over to their mother when they need to feed.
Cotton-top tamarins are able to explore their surroundings at around three-weeks of age; but they are often still carried around until they are nearly two months old.
Two adorable faces can be easily spotted now, peering over their father’s fur as he jumps across the branches.
Zoo Manager, Sue Woodgate, said: “We are absolutely delighted with our new arrivals. These beautiful monkeys are facing serious threat in the wild, and we are in great danger of losing this wonderful and charismatic species altogether. We are just ecstatic that the twins have been born.
“Habitat destruction is one of the main threats facing cotton-top tamarins in the wild. Deforestation is a major problem for these monkeys; they are losing more and more of their habitat every day as the trees are cleared for timber production, human settlements, agriculture and charcoal production.
“There is also a huge risk to the tamarins from the illegal wildlife trade. These monkeys are adorable yes, but under no circumstances should they be kept as pets.
“We do not know the sex of the babies and they have not yet been named, but we are hoping to pool some inventive name suggestions soon!”
Zoo Keepers at Drusillas Park are delighted with the birth of the twins, and are thrilled to be able to do their part in safe guarding this amazing species.
Located just off the A27 in Alfriston, Drusillas Park is open daily from 10am. For more information call 01323 874100 or visit www.drusillas.co.uk