Closer Look at Newborn Cotton-Top Tamarin Monkey Twins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

VP of Animals, Science and Environment for Disney Parks, Dr. Mark Penning, shared new photos of the twin baby cotton-top tamarin monkeys recently born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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The twins were born to the park’s only other two cotton-top tamarins. They weigh about the same as a common chicken egg and measure approximately four inches long.

They are the first cotton-top tamarins born at Walt Disney World since 2001. It’s too soon to tell the sex of the babies so they don’t have names yet.

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“Although cotton-top tamarins are considered a rare species with less than 7,500 remaining in the wild,” Penning wrote on Disney Parks Blog, “having twins is quite typical for the species. Infants are completely dependent on their families for survival and are carried around on the backs of their family members for up to 14 weeks. As first-time parents, both mom and dad are doing great, sharing the parenting duties. You can expect to see the twins cozied up to both mom and dad over the next several months.”

The babies can be seen at the cotton-top tamarin enclosure on Discovery Island, near Creature Comforts.

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“Cotton-top tamarins are native to Colombia,” Penning explained, “and typically found in the tropical forests of the northwest region of the country. These primates live high in the treetops and forage through the canopy for the fruits and insects that make up most of their diet. They are critically endangered because of the illegal pet trade as well as extensive deforestation and loss of habitat. “

“Cotton-top tamarins are known for the wild manes of bright-white hair atop their heads, resembling a well-known genius and theoretical physicist. And they’re highly intelligent, too, with at least 38 distinct calls in their vocal repertoire to communicate with each other!”

“Fully grown, adult cotton-top tamarins weigh less than a pound and are about the size of a squirrel. Though small in stature, these twins will play a big role in the continuation of one of the most endangered primate species.”

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The Disney Parks Animals, Science and Environment teams work with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan to help ensure the responsible breeding of threatened species like the cotton-top tamarin.

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Disney has also worked with organizations like Proyecto Titi in Colombia to help protect the monkeys. The Disney Conservation Fund has supported Proyecto Titi’s efforts to help more than 180 local farmers establish conservation forest corridors, protect more than 5,500 hectares of forest, and plant more than 100,000 trees.

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Walt Disney World has had several successful animal births recently including Walter the red river hog at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and Penny the yellow-backed duiker calf.

Disney Conservation Fund

Disney Conservation is committed to saving wildlife and building a global community inspired to protect the magic of nature together. Since 1995, Disney Conservation has directed more than $120 million and the expertise of their dedicated teams to support organizations working with communities to save wildlife, inspire action, and protect the planet.

The Disney Conservation Fund is focused on saving wildlife for future generations through grants to leading conservation organizations working together to stabilize and increase the populations of at-risk animals including butterflies, coral reefs, cranes, elephants, gorillas, monkeys, and sea turtles. A Disney conservationist works with each organization to identify where Disney expertise can also play a role in reversing the decline of these animals and their habitats.

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