Golden Lion Tamarin

(Leontopithecus rosalia rosalia)

Mammals | Central & South America

Animal Info

The Zoo is home to one breeding pair (Maya and Ouro). Maya, born in April 2004, arrived at the Zoo from the Bronx Zoo in 2006. Ouro, born in November 2006, arrived at the Zoo from BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo in 2009.

Status in the Wild

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status: Endangered. In 1970, it was estimated that there were only 200 left in the Brazilian rainforest. As of September 2014, an estimated 3,200 golden lion tamarins can be found in their natural range due to reintroduction and as a result, have been downgraded from ‘Critically Endangered’ to ‘Endangered’  on the IUCN Red List. The golden lion tamarin is part of the Zoo’s Species Survival Plan program.


Lowland and swamp tropical forests in the eastern rainforests of Brazil. More than 90% of the golden lion tamarin’s habitat has been destroyed by deforestation.


This animal’s diet consists of fruit, nectar, insects, small snakes and lizards.

Did you know?

Golden lion tamarins are in the same family as marmosets.

The natural enemies of golden lion tamarins are cats, snakes and birds of prey.

Golden lion tamarins have fine silky reddish-gold coats with long back swept manes that cover the head, ears and shoulders.

Their hands do not grasp as in other primates. Instead, they establish a firm grip with claws.

They have acute sight, good hearing and a good sense of smell to help them navigate the forests.

A golden lion tamarin is about 8 to 13 inches long and between 1 ½ to 2 pounds in weight.

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