Recently one of our red-handed tamarin, also known as the golden-handed tamarin or Midas tamarin, named for the contrasting reddish orange hair on its feet and hands, gave birth to twins.
Giving birth to twin is very common for these types of monkeys. Unfortunately one of the babies was falling behind in nursing and upon advice from our veterinarian we took him in foster care. Our staff takes turns feeding this tiny creature around the clock, nursing at 3AM is one of the many acts of love that the staff of the Curaçao Zoo are doing. If these new babies make it, they will move to the Saint Martin Zoo, this in our ongoing exchange program.
The red-handed tamarin’s body measures 20.5–28 centimeters (8.1–11.0 in); including the tail it measures 31–44 centimeters (12–17 in). It weighs 400–550 grams (0.88–1.21 lb). Its life expectancy is approximately 10 years in the wild and 16 years in captivity.
The red-handed tamarin is an exceptional climber and spends most of its time among the vines and branches of the trees. It is quick and agile and is a superb jumper known to jump distances of over 60 feet (18 m) from a tree to the ground with no sign of injury. Its diet consists of fruit, flowers, insects, frogs, spiders, lizards, and nectar. Its natural predators include small cats, birds of prey, snakes and humans.