Baton Rouge Zoo welcomes new baby golden lion tamarin; monkey species is endangered _lowres

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Born on March 9, a baby golden lion tamarin clings to its father Friday at BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo.

Two monkeys at BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo had a baby this week, who already is on display, though it’s not straying far from its mother, Blixx.

Baton Rouge’s newest golden lion tamarin was born Wednesday to parents Blixx and Brazil. It’s the first one born at the zoo in the past six years, but zookeepers have not named it because they have not yet learned its gender.

The animals are native to Brazil, and the Brazilian government loaned the parents to the Baton Rouge Zoo.

The golden lion tamarins are endangered. They have lost many of their tropical forest habitats because of trees being cut down for logging and development. Several zoos across the nation have bred the animals to reintroduce them into the wild.

“It’s great to have a new golden lion tamarin baby again, since it’s been several years since we had a successful breeding pair,” said Sam Winslow, the zoo’s general curator, in a statement. “Every birth counts in the overall effort to save the species.”

The zoo reports that successful breeding efforts have led the population of the animals in the wild to increase from 100 in 1980 to more than 1,000 today. More than 400 of those were bred in captivity.

Baton Rouge Zoo participates in a program to help breed animals that are part of endangered populations. An endangered siamang was born at the zoo in October.