Animal Facts

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Meet our Cheeky Monkeys!

Adelaide Zoo is home to six Golden Lion-tamarins. The family group consists of a mum and dad and their offspring.

Dominant male Rio was born at Adelaide Zoo on 14 November 2006. He’s a gentle dad that commands the respect from his family, but is also a doting dad who’s happy to allow his kids first share of the food. His partner, Aurora, was born at Palm Beach Zoo in the United States on the 22 May 2010 and arrived at Adelaide Zoo in April 2013. Aurora is a loving mother who gained valuable experience herself as a mum by helping raise her brother and sisters. She is quite timid and will always allow her young to have first share of the food, just like dad!

Rosita and Ronaldo were born to Aurora and Rio on 6 September 2013. Rosita is very playful as well as often impatient when it comes to feeding time. She’s also learning valuable mothering skills helping to look after her younger siblings. Ronaldo has a sweet disposition and has grown in leaps and bounds and is now much larger than his dad. Whilst now the biggest in the group, he’s still considered to be one of the shyer members of the family.

Aurella and Aurelio were born on 13 October 2014. Aurella is small but feisty, especially when it comes to food! Twin brother Aurelio is small and fluffy but growing quickly and catching up to his older brother Ronaldo! Aurello loves insects especially meal worms, which are an absolute favourite alongside bananas!

News Flash!


6 October 2015: Our troop of Golden Lion-tamarins celebrates the arrival of their third pair of twins to proud parents Rio and Aurora!

The tiny tots are clinging tightly to seasoned mum Aurora, a positive sign they’re strong and healthy. The twins, still too young for us to identify their sex, are lovingly cared for by the entire family.

The older siblings, Rosita, Ronaldo, Aurella and Aurelio love taking turns looking after the young ones. This behaviour is common as tamarins are extremely social animals who thrive in family groups.

Next time you visit the zoo make sure to look up and you might spot our golden twins among the tamarin family racing through their aerial tunnel system.

The Golden Lion Tamarin is native to the Atlantic coastal rainforests of Brazil and gets its name from the gorgeous reddish-orange colour of its hair, which is longer around the head making it look similar to a lion’s mane. It’s believed that this species gets its stunning colour from sunlight and the carotenoids (pigments) in their food.The Golden Lion Tamarin has a diverse, omnivorous diet consisting of fruit, flowers, nectar, bird eggs, insects and small vertebrates.

Golden Lion Tamarins are social and live in groups of up to eight members. These groups usually consist of one adult breeding pair and their offspring. Both male and female offspring may leave their family group at around four years of age to look for their own breeding opportunities.

The Golden Lion Tamarin is an endangered species with approximately 3,000 individuals left in the wild. It’s believed that the Golden Lion Tamarin has lost between 95-98% of its natural home range and can now only be found in small pockets of rainforest in Brazil. The major threat facing the species is habitat loss and fragmentation due to farming, logging and livestock in addition to the illegal wildlife trade.

Love tamarins? Join our troop and ensure Golden Lion Tamarins stay a leap ahead of extinction! There are many ways you can help support these adorable animals!

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