One Of Topeka Zoo's Twin Tamarins Dies

By: WIBW (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: WIBW (Posted by Melissa Brunner)

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Topeka Zoo reports one of its twin baby Golden Lion Tamarins had died.

In a news release Tuesday, zoo director Brendan Wiley said the baby had been rejected by both parents and passed away early Sunday morning.

The babies were born last week Wednesday morning to Devra and Charlie, both first-time parents. Wiley said their care progressed normally, but, by the second day, Devra rejected one of the young and it was found on the floor of the exhibit. Staff took the baby to the zoo’s hospital where it was warmed, given fluids, and fed formula.

Wiley said breeding and rearing protocols state the offspring cannot be separated from their parents for more than 12 hours and humans may not cross-foster the young. After three attempts, Wiley says, zoo staff coaxed the father, Charlie, into taking the baby.

“In this species of tamarin, usually after a few days the babies transition from mom to dad,” Wiley said in a news release. “In the case of a first-time mom like we have here, that transition may take longer.”

Wiley says staff continued supplementing care for the next couple days when neither parent would care for it. Saturday, staff observed both babies on their mother, nursing. But Sunday morning, Wiley says, all four tamarins were found in the nest box, with the rejected baby deceased.

“The other baby appears to be doing well and has received great parental care from the moment it was born,” Wiley said. “As to the baby who passed, our initial findings haven’t revealed any abnormalities, but results from many tests are still pending. We don’t know why mom stopped caring for it.”

631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email:
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