When it comes to pint-sized creatures that are full of energy, nothing beats the New World monkey known as the tamarin. At Lake Tobias Wildlife Park, you can get a good look at these rambunctious pranksters as they delight in running wildly and swinging among the branches in their Reptiles & Exotics Facility exhibit. Currently, five Cotton top tamarins inhabit our man-made habitat that reflects their original environment and climate.
Tamarins in the Wild
In the wild, tamarins were originally indigenous only to the Amazon Basin, but can now be found in jungles from southern Central America through central South America. The Cotton Top tamarin can be found only in Columbia and is considered to be endangered. Tamarins live in family groups of between three and nine members although they also will congregate in larger packs. They are omnivores – meaning that they will eat almost anything including the usual fruits and other plant parts as well as bird eggs, spiders and other insects and the occasional small vertebrate. Due to their small size, tamarins have a difficult life in the wild. Tamarins are considered prey by everything from birds of prey, snakes and other mammals.
Tamarins as Individuals
On an individual level, tamarins look very similar to marmosets to the average viewer. In particular, they are quite small, usually less than one foot in body length — with a two-foot tail! — and generally weigh less than two pounds. Their coloring ranges from black to white and all the browns in between. A few species are also noted for their prominent facial hair. At Lake Tobias Wildlife Park, we give visitors a unique, close encounter with our tamarins. You will not be able to pet them but they are very inquisitive and will approach visitors as close as their habitat allows.