Golden Lion Tamarin Infant Dies at Smithsonian’s National Zoo

One of the golden lion tamarin infants born at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo last week died this morning, July 3. It appears that the infant fell off one of its parents this morning. The other infant, also born last week on June 29, is doing well. Keepers had seen both babies being carried by their parents Izzy and Mo, and it appeared both were nursing regularly. Keepers will continue to monitor the surviving infant closely to ensure that it is healthy and developing normally.

Golden lion tamarins have high infant-mortality rates, with approximately half of infants dying before they reach 1 year old. It is not uncommon for tamarin babies to accidently fall off their parents while traversing branches. The Zoo’s habitat for the golden lion tamarins is designed especially for a family group with infants, but keepers took additional steps to create a baby-friendly exhibit—including draining pools, turning off waterfall features and limiting noise and unfamiliar staff in the habitat.

A necropsy (animal autopsy) may provide more information on the infant’s health.

Native to South America, golden lion tamarins are endangered social primates that live in groups of two to eight family members in the canopies of Atlantic coastal forests of southeastern Brazil. Their reddish-gold fur and mane gives them a striking appearance.

Visitors can see the golden lion tamarin family and the Zoo’s other pair of golden lion tamarins, Diogo and Julie, in the Small Mammal House every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Zoo will provide updates on the tamarins through FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.

To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at

Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II

© 2019 The Southern Maryland Chronicle. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.