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County Executive's Office

Henry Vilas Zoo Welcomes First of Two New Marmosets

June 30, 2010
Joshua Wescott, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606
County Executive

As University of Nebraska Moves to Big Ten, Nebraska Marmoset Moves to Dane County Zoo

The Henry Vilas Zoo is privileged to announce the arrival of “Yao,” a Geoffroy’s Marmoset. 

“Yao” comes to Dane County from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  “Yao” is a three-year old male and within the next few weeks he will be partnered with “Tulip” a two-year old female marmoset who will move to Madison from the San Diego Zoo.  

“These very cute new additions are more great reasons for families to come on out and visit our free zoo!” County Executive Kathleen Falk said.  “Our zoo continues to be a top destination for families because it’s free, fun, safe, and always has new exciting things to see and learn.” 

Falk noted in the first six months of the year, approximately 347,000 visitors have come to the zoo – about 40,000 more than at the same time a year ago.

Geoffroy’s Marmosets are native to Eastern Brazil Rain Forests.  They have a distinctive black and brown fur with white faces, foreheads, and cheeks.  Marmosets have specially adaptive teeth to help them eat tree gum.  They also enjoy fruits, flowers nectar, frogs, snails, lizards, spiders and insects.

The eventual pairing of “Yao” and “Tulip” comes at the recommendation of the national Association of Zoos and Aquariums which runs a Marmoset Species Survival Plan to help protect the population of marmosets.

“It’s a privilege to add these unique animals to our collection and be part of an international conservation initiative,” Zoo Director Jim Hubing said.

Yao is on exhibit daily, 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. in the Zoo’s Tropical Rain Forest Aviary.

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