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We Welcome Two New Babies
to the Small Mammals Building

Mohol galagos
Mohol galago baby and mother.

Posted February 2021

Even though the Small Mammals building is currently closed due to COVID-19 safety guidelines, the Zoo is excited to announce two recent births: a cotton-top tamarin on Nov. 20, 2020, and a mohol galago on Nov. 27 (the sex of each is not yet known). Both babies are doing well and are being cared for by attentive, first-time mothers.

Cotton-top tamarin
The growing family of tamarin: mom, Javi (with baby on her back), and dad, Zi.

The cotton-top tamarin was born to first-time dad Zi, and mom, Javi. Cotton-top tamarin are one of the most endangered primates in the world, and found only in the northern region of Columbia, in tropical dry forests.

Female cotton-top tamarin usually give birth to twins each year. Parental care is shared in cotton-top families, with infants carried on the backs of their caregivers for the first several months. As infants mature, they are carried less, and adults begin to share solid food as weaning progresses. The Zoo’s newest cotton-top baby is now off mom and dad most of the time unless it becomes scared and then catapults back onto them with a giant leap! It’s also eating solid food now, so the weaning process has begun.

Cotton-top tamarinAt the Zoo, the newest cotton-top tamarin eats insects, vegetables, eggs, greens and a canned marmoset diet along with primate gel. In the wild, tamarin eat primarily fruit, but also insects and nectar.

The greatest threat to the survival of cotton-top tamarin is deforestation of their habitat for agriculture, mining, illegal logging and urban expansion. In addition to the ongoing forest destruction, cotton-top tamarin are threatened by the illegal capture for the pet trade.

The South African mohol galago, also a species of primate (also known as a bushbaby), was born Nov. 27 to mother, Kirby, and first-time dad, Keanu. So far, Kirby has proven to be a very protective mom.

Mohol galagoIn the Small Mammals’ habitat, the mohol galagos live in a mixed species exhibit which includes a potto and springhaas. Zookeepers say the initial introductions went smoothly, with no issues. The baby galago kept its gaze on the potto and springhaas, keeping its distance from both animals.

The young are born furred and have open eyes at birth. Babies are able to cling to branches within the first day and begin walking within a few days. Females nurse their offspring for about 3 months, although young may begin to catch insects at 4 weeks of age.

At the Zoo, mohol galagos eat a diet of insects, fruits and vegetables, canned primate food and greens. The baby is independent now but may still be nursing a bit. Keepers say its eating solid foods for the most part, and even caught a live cricket from the feeder recently!

In the wild, their populations are stable, without many major threats to their survival.

Because the Small Mammals building is closed for now, visitors are invited to see and learn about these new animals on the Zoo’s social media platforms and website.