The baby golden lion tamarin born five days ago at BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo to great fanfare and excitement died on Monday.
The furry golden lion tamarins are endangered, and BREC celebrated its birth last week as the first golden lion tamarin born there in the past six years. But zookeepers found it weakened Monday and brought it to the zoo’s veterinary hospital, where it later died.
Its cause of death is still not known, and the LSU veterinary staff later this month will perform a necropsy — which is the term for an autopsy on an animal.
The golden lion tamarins, which are monkeys native to Brazil, can sometimes have difficulty living past their newborn phases. More than 40 percent die within their first 30 days of life, the zoo said.
“Once it got to the hospital, we tried our best to revive its strength by providing it with heat and medication, but it just wasn’t enough to save it,” Dr. Gordon Pirie, the zoo veterinarian, said in a written statement. “It’s a sad day, not just for us but for the zoo community as a whole. All of us work cooperatively to help build these endangered animal populations, so we all feel the losses when they occur.”
Zoo staffers had not named the baby tamarin before it died, and they had not learned its gender yet because it was not straying far from its mother, Blixx.
The baby’s parents, Blixx and Brazil, are on loan to the Baton Rouge Zoo from the Brazilian government. The Baton Rouge Zoo participates in a program where it tries to breed endangered animals to keep their populations going.