Adelaide Zoo

Double delight for critically-endangered species

Adelaide Zoo is bursting with excitement to announce a set of critically-endangered Cotton-top Tamarin twins have joined the zoo family.

Born to seven-year-old Peppa and 12-year-old Gomez, the tiny twosome are two-weeks old and have been clinging onto their mum while discovering the world around them.

Assistant Curator of Primates, Heather Guy, said if visitors look carefully when visiting the Tamarin House or when the Cotton-top Tamarins run overhead in their tunnels, they might catch a glimpse of the new arrivals.

“Peppa is a first-time mum and is gaining experience and confidence and with this, she is now comfortable with Gomez carrying the infants as well,” she said.

“If you look closely, you can see the little ones holding on to the adult’s back and, if they are with Gomez, he will hand them back to Peppa for feeding.

“It is really exciting for us to have Cotton-top Tamarins born here at the zoo – the species is critically endangered and the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species estimates there are only around 2,000 left in the wild.

“This is why breeding and conservation efforts by organisations like Zoos SA are so important. We want to ensure amazing animals like the Cotton-top are here well into the future.

“The duo are definitely capturing hearts already and their signature white tuft of hair is already starting to appear!”

Cotton-top Tamarins are very easy to recognise with a spunky large white crest of hair or ‘mohawk’ on their heads.

The ‘punk-rockers’ of the primate world, their voluminous do will stand on end when alarmed or excited to make their appearance look bigger and more impressive.

The species lives in family groups and the birth of twins can occur when environmental conditions are supportive.

Found in the lowland forests of Colombia, Cotton-top Tamarin numbers are declining due to habitat loss and hunting for the illegal pet trade.

For further information or to learn more about Cotton-top Tamarins and Zoos SA conservation work, please visit