With its silky, golden mane, this tiny tamarin is aptly named! However, its beautiful coat is also one of the main reasons for its demise.

The golden lion tamarin has become one of the world’s most endangered animals – due to it being hunted by poachers and its forest habitat being destroyed to make way for agricultural plantations.

Only 2 to 3 per cent of the golden lion tamarins' original rainforest habitat is still in existence.

Golden lion tamarins are only found in the lowland forests of Brazil. In the wild, they will live for approximately 15 years, but in zoos they can live up to 20 years.

Recently Auckland Zoo has successfully reared golden lion tamarin twins, female Aurora and male Raffino.

The decision to hand-rear is never taken lightly as there are always risks involved. Our primate keepers used their expertise, coupled with the best science and the knowledge that the twins would have each other to bond with, to make this decision and without it these critically endangered twins would have simply not survived.

Watch our video below to follow our primate team's journey as they go from feeding the twins around the clock, to weaning them off of milk and onto solid foods like delicious mango, the successful integration with their parents Alonzo and Frida, and finally, welcoming the family unit into their Rainforest habitat. 

We’re now one of the few places in the world that can proudly say we’ve successfully hand-reared golden lion tamarins and will be adding to global knowledge about the species. There's now an entire family of four for you to connect with on your next zoo visit. 

Video

Meet our golden lion tamarin twins!

Follow primate team leader Amy as her and the team hand-rear these critically endangered tamarins.