Dartmoor Zoo welcomes two baby Marmosets

Devon conservation attraction, Dartmoor Zoo, has welcomed two happy and healthy baby marmosets to its community. The zoo is now calling on members of the public to help name the as-yet unnamed new born marmoset twins.

In the wild, common marmosets face threat of habitat loss from deforestation with an estimated 80% of forests in Cerrado Region, Brazil felled since 1970*. The successful breeding of two healthy marmosets is an invaluable milestone for the Devon-based family attraction.

Dartmoor Zoo’s Curator Tom Lowry commented: “We are thrilled with the arrival of two healthy Common Marmosets. The species is intelligent, inquisitive and playful – and their offspring are irresistible! We’re already seeing their personalities develop and we know they’ll be very popular with visitors to Dartmoor Zoo.”

Both of the baby marmosets are in perfect health, and are bonding well with first time parents, Ted and Marmalade - who take it in turns to care for the babies while the other rests.

Once the Marmoset twins are more mobile, the Marmoset family will then move into a brand-new enclosure, built by the Dartmoor Zoo team and Cornwall Glass who donated and fitted all the glazing, and helped with the mesh-work. The marmosets’ new enclosure has plenty of ropes and branches for them to play and climb on.

Dartmoor Zoo’s Curator Tom Lowry added: “Ted and Marmalade are taking to parenthood very well. The pair are working together to care for each other and their new offspring. The progression of the twin’s development has been very positive, the keepers will continue to monitor them closely. The future is looking bright for the new family here at Dartmoor Zoo.

“Although common marmosets are considered a lower concern on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species, their population is sadly decreasing due to the threat to their habitat. It is our upmost priority at Dartmoor Zoo to educate and inspire the general public about wildlife conservation and improve captive animal management by providing a safe environment for animals under threat in the wild.”

The keepers have not yet examined the babies to determine the sex in order to minimise unnecessary stress and to allow the family precious bonding time.

Dartmoor Zoo was established in 2007 when Benjamin Mee and his family bought an ailing zoo, near Plymouth in Devon. Since then Ben, his family and team have built the Zoo into the popular tourist attraction it is today. Ben wrote a book about his experience and in 2011 it was made into the Hollywood Film - ‘We Bought a Zoo’ starring Matt Damon. In 2014 Dartmoor Zoo became a charity, of which Ben is CEO. Today the Zoo is heavily involved in research, conservation and education projects to promote the welfare of animals and to enrich both the lives of humans and animals.

Would you like to help Dartmoor Zoo name the baby marmosets? The keepers will shortlist two names from suggestions sent in by the public. To nominate a name or two, please email zoobase@dartmoorzoo.co.uk and mention why the names would suit the twins! Winners will be announced on Facebook.

To find out more about Dartmoor Zoo visit www.dartmoorzoo.org.uk