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County Executive's Office

Henry Vilas Zoo Welcomes Two Baby Geoffroy’s Marmosets

April 06, 2011
Jim Hubing, Zoo Director (608) 266-4708; Joshua Wescott, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or (608) 669-5606
County Executive

Henry Vilas Zoo is privileged to announce that  Geoffroy’s Marmosets, ‘Yao’ & ‘Iris’ have birthed two babies.  Tropical Rain Forest Aviary keeper, Laura Reisse, reports both babies are doing well, they cling to Mom most of the time, Dad helps out to give Mom rest, although she is never out of sight of her babies.


“Yao” came  to Dane County from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  “Yao” is a three-year old male.  “Iris” a two-year old female marmoset moved 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.” 


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 pairing of “Yao” and “Iris” was recommended by the national Association of Zoos and Aquariums Marmoset Species Survival Plan which helps sustain marmoset populations.


“This is a significant birth of a endangered species, it is a privilege to participate in this important conservation initiative,” Zoo Director Jim Hubing said.


The Marmoset family is on exhibit daily, 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. in the Zoo’s Tropical Rain Forest Aviary, in about 3-4 weeks the babies will become more independent of their parents and be easier to see.



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