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Cotton-top tamarin baby born at Franklin Park Zoo

Visitors to Franklin Park Zoo’s Tropical Forest can look for a tiny, new furry face following the recent birth of a cotton-top tamarin.

Born on February 27, this tiny monkey, whose sex is not yet known, can be seen on exhibit with its mother Wilma, father Federico (Fred) and siblings Pebbles and Betty.

“The baby appears bright, healthy and alert and the family has been very attentive and taking turns carrying the baby. As with any new birth, we are closely monitoring the mother and baby,” said Jeannine Jackle, Assistant Curator of the Tropical Forest. “Cotton-top tamarins are very social animals and our guests will have the unique opportunity to observe the family dynamics as the baby grows up.”

Zoo New England participates in the Cotton-Top Tamarin Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs are designed to maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations of species. This birth is the result of a recommended breeding. Wilma did give birth to twins, but sadly one did not survive.

These small, endangered primates can be found in the understory and canopy of the tropical forest in northwestern Colombia. About the size of a squirrel, these small monkeys are noted for their long whitish crest of hair stemming from the forehead to the nape and flowing over their shoulders. Cotton-top tamarins are monogamous and groups typically include a dominant mated pair, their young, and a few subordinates and young. Their diet consists primarily of insects and fruit, and they play an important role as seed dispersers and pollinators in tropical ecosystems.

Zoo New England has supported Proyecto Titi, a program combining field research, education initiatives and community programs to make the conservation of natural resources economically feasible for local communities in Colombia – the native home of cotton-top tamarins.




  • Learn more about cotton-top tamarins in Franklin Park Zoo's Animals section.
  • Proyecto Titi | Past Quarters for Conservation Programs at Zoo New England
  • Zoodopt a cotton-top tamarin