NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nashville Zoo has been experiencing a recent baby boom. One of it’s newest babies can be viewed inside the zoo’s hidden gem.

“They’re only in the women’s bathroom,” said Tatum Basham, primate zookeeper.

The cotton-top tamarin exhibit located – yes – inside the women’s bathroom along the Expedition Peru: Trek of the Andean Bear area of the zoo.

“People love coming in here. They’re so excited. No one expects to see monkeys as soon as they get in the bathroom,” said Basham.

The newborn tamarin will cling to its mother’s back as it grows stronger.

“We have Poncho and Caqueta, which are mom and dad,” Basham pointed out. “They do breed for their whole lives; they pair together.”

Their baby was born May 29th but the gender is not yet known.

It brings the total of tamarins at the zoo to six, including two previous litters.

“They usually have twins, and they usually have male and female. But this time we just have one,” said Basham.

Cotton-top refers to the white fur around their face and head. The primates can live up to 15 years in the wild or in the high-20s in captivity.

“These guys are critically endangered. There’s less than 6,000 in the wild.” Basham continued, “So, these guys are part of the SSP – the species survival plan.”

Tamarin are among the most endangered primates in the world, only native to the forests of Northwestern Columbia in South America.

“It’s very important that they’re here at the zoo, and that they are breeding to help that population in the future,” she said.

This baby will stay at Nashville Zoo while it reaches maturity, but it will then be sent to another zoo to help continue the conservation efforts of cotton-top tamarins.

  • Cotton-top tamarin
  • Cotton-top tamarin
  • Cotton-top tamarin
  • Cotton-top tamarin

To learn more about cotton-top tamarins and how people are working to help them survive click on this link.

That bathroom, by the way, was awarded America’s Best Restroom by Cintas in 2019.

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