Pygmy Marmosets born at Telford Zoo

17 April 2024

Pygmy Marmoset Mother and Baby

Keepers at Exotic Zoo in Telford are celebrating after two of the world’s smallest species of monkey were born, the first time that the species have been successfully bred at the zoo. Pygmy marmosets are native to South America and when fully grown only reach a height of 10 centimeters, making them one of the smallest mammal species on the planet.

New parents, Robyn and Hook, were matched at the zoo as part of an initiative to safeguard the species from extinction. Hook arrived at the zoo last year to kickstart breeding attempts with Robyn.

Pygmy Marmosets are usually found throughout South America ranging from Brazil to Bolivia but are experiencing population decline in the wild due to habitat loss across the Amazon basin. The species are vulnerable to extinction in the wild according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Exotic Zoo Director, Scott Adams said, ‘’The arrival of the baby marmosets was a huge surprise for everybody at the zoo and we’re delighted to be able to play a role in the European captive breeding programme for the species. We have a hands-off policy with our Pygmy Marmosets and couldn’t be sure whether the female was pregnant, our keepers were jumping for joy when they spotted the twins riding on the back of mum and dad.’’

‘’The twins are approximately three centimeters in height and are already quite active. Robyn is a great first-time mum, she seems to be feeding them well and then allowing their dad to carry them around on his back for the rest of the time. It will be a few weeks yet before the youngsters become confident enough to leave their parent’s side to explore their enclosure for themselves.’’

Exotic Zoo which is also home to endangered lemurs, meerkats and crocodiles and is currently expanding as part of a long-term master plan.

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