Adelaide Zoo scores a hat trick with Golden Lion Tamarin triplets!

Not one, not two but three Golden Lion Tamarin triplets have been born to parents Arella and Roscoe at Adelaide Zoo. The three babies, currently of undetermined sex, were born on 4 December 2020 – a very welcome addition to the family group and the species, which is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

“Back in November our veterinary team carried out a health check on mum Arella 6 as we suspected she was pregnant, and were delighted and surprised to discover that she was expecting triplets with only a few week to go,” said Senior Primate Keeper, Jodie Sheridan.

“A Golden Lion Tamarin having three babies is rare as they more commonly have twins.

“Mum Arella, Dad Roscoe, 6 and the entire family have taken turns looking after the young. The babies, now four weeks old, are all doing really well.

“Visitors to Adelaide Zoo will see the triplets at the Golden Lion Tamarin exhibit. Look closely and you will see them attached to the back of an adult, which could be a parent or sibling.

“As they are so small and blend into the fur they can be difficult to see but please ask a keeper or a member of staff for help identifying them,” finished Jodie.

Golden Lion Tamarins have a unique family set-up which includes the male and siblings taking a very active role in helping to raise the young by washing and carrying them around – particularly helpful when you have three babies to care for! While Mum often carries the young, a parent or sibling will also help and deliver the babies back to mum after a few hours so that they can suckle.

At four weeks old the babies are becoming more independent and are exploring their home.

It is common for Golden Lion Tamarins to live in an extended family, as is the case with the troop at Adelaide Zoo.

Golden Lion Tamarins are listed as endangered by IUCN Red List with no more than 1,400 mature individuals estimated to live in the wild. Conservation efforts over the last 30 years have seen the Golden Lion Tamarin’s conservation status rise from critically endangered to endangered.

Threats to their survival in native Brazil include the building of roads, railroads, fragmentation due to land clearing for housing development and urbanization and farming.

Visitors are asked to book tickets to Adelaide Zoo in advance at


Zoos SA is calling on the public to help name the Golden Lion Tamarin triplets. Members of the public are asked to come up with names with a South American-flavour to tie with their native home of Brazil. As the babies are too young to be sexed, gender-neutral names will be appreciated! Three winners will receive a pair of entry tickets to Adelaide Zoo.

To enter:


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About Zoos SA

Zoos SA is a not-for-profit conservation charity that exists to connect people with nature and save species from extinction.

Zoos SA acknowledges the Country on which we stand always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land and we pay our deepest respect and gratitude to Kaurna (Adelaide Zoo) and Ngarrindjeri (Monarto Safari Park) Elders, past, present and emerging.

We undertake critical conservation work throughout Australia and acknowledge the traditional custodians of these lands.


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