The hit parade of adorable baby animals continues with the birth of a cotton-top tamarin at the Cape May Zoo. The new arrival’s gender is unknown because the mom, Cordelia, and father, Tam-tam, have been tightly holding the baby for the first few weeks of its life.

The cotton-top tamarins, which are native to Colombia in South America, are considered critically endangered, so the birth is a big deal.

It’s estimated that only about 6,000 tamarins are left in the world. The baby was the first tamarin born at the zoo in 17 years. "The baby is strong and healthy and will be carried closely by both Mom and Dad for several weeks until it is strong enough to venture out on its own," veterinarian Dr. Alex Ernst said. "They are out and about in their habitat and can be viewed by the public. Visitors will have to look closely at Mom to see the baby as she will be holding on to it very tight.”

After the first week, the father was allowed to hold the newborn, as well. The cotton-top tamarin is one of three Amazonian tamarin; their average weight is about 15 ounces, and their average height is between 9 and 13 inches. Their average lifespan is about 13 years in the wild but longer in captivity, with the oldest recorded tamarin living to 24 years in captivity.

“Our cotton-top tamarins are a Species Survival Plan pair, and every successful birth helps to stabilize the future for these critically endangered South American primates,” Ernst said. If you want to see the adorable primate, the zoo is open from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Masks are required for everyone over 2 years old, and visitors should socially distance.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.


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