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Photo: Debrecen Zoo

The holidays were particularly happy at the Debrecen Zoo as, on Christmas Eve, December 24, their female red-handed tamarin gave birth to two healthy offspring.

Their father was also born at the institution in 2013, and their mother was transferred from Zoo Szeged in 2018. Both parents do their fair share of rearing the young. Yet to be sexed, the little ones spend most of their time travelling on their father’s back, clinging to his fur. They are fed by their mother and have an excellent appetite. All four members of the tamarin family are exhibited in the institution’s Tropical House.

A species within the subfamily Callitrichinae, red-handed or golden-handed tamarins (Saguinus midas) are native to forests in the northern parts of South America.

In the wild, they tend to live in groups of 4 to 15, with a dominant female mating with all males.

In contrast to most of their fur, either dark of black, their hands and feet are gold or orange – hence their common name. Their Latin name refers to King Midas, the ancient Greek mythological figure with a golden touch.

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Although their wild population is currently stable, they are included in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species due to deforestation in their habitats and illegal trade.

The Debrecen Zoo is home to red-handed tamarins under a European Studbook (EAZA ESB).

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