Bristol Zoo Gardens welcomes the birth of twin golden lion tamarins, contributing to a global initiative to ensure the preservation of their species.
The tiny babies, who weigh just 50gms each, arrived on one of the hottest nights of the year when temperatures remained higher than 20C.
However the team at the zoo say the pair, who live with their mum Missy and dad Dourado, are now thriving.
Shani Ratnayake, mammals team leader, said the other grown-up golden lion tamarins in the six-strong group were taking it in turns to help look after the youngsters.
“They are helping to carry them around and take them back to their mum when they want to feed. It’s good experience for them all,” she said.
“They [the babies] are really doing well, suckling and growing strong.”
Mother Missy has given birth to twins four times now but this is the first time that both infants have survived.
Shani said: “She has been nibbling their tails but this is quite common behaviour for golden lion tamarins.”
The team at the zoo say the babies are now thriving (Image: Aquabella)
The zoo says the twins’ birth is important because they are part of a vital European breeding programme to help protect golden lion tamarins.
Brazil’s Atlantic coastal forests, where they are found, are disappearing due to logging, agriculture and industry which is putting their future at risk.
However, thanks to conservation efforts, golden lion tamarins have been down-listed from critically endangered to endangered.
In fact, about a third of the current wild population of the species are descendants of zoo-born individuals which were reintroduced into their native habitat in the early 1990s.
Visitors to the zoo stand a good chance of seeing Missy and her new babies if they stand with their backs to the otter enclosure and look towards the nearest island.