Brooklands Zoo cotton-top tamarin euthanised

Cotton-top tamarin monkeys at the Brooklands Zoo in New Plymouth.
Grant Matthew

Cotton-top tamarin monkeys at the Brooklands Zoo in New Plymouth.

There's been a death at Brooklands Zoo.

This week, cotton-top tamarin Nephrite was euthanised by vets after a health check diagnosed the small primate with an untreatable kidney illness.

Brooklands Zoo coordinator Eve Cozzi said the loss left the zoo with just two of the tiny monkeys; Nephrite's daughter, 5-year-old Inca, and Inca's father, 15-year-old Lorenzo.

Nephrite was born at the zoo in February 2002 and was popular with both staff and visitors, said Cozzi.

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"Nephrite lived here her entire life and she'll be greatly missed," she said.

"Nephrite loved eating pollen and often had it on her face."

Cozzi said the zoo was hoping to bring in more of the monkeys, hopefully for breeding, as they were very social animals.

"We are on a waiting list, but cotton-top tamarins aren't easy to acquire.

"One pair have bred in New Zealand recently so we're also looking at Australia."

Weighing less than half of a kilogram, cotton-top tamarins are striking in appearance. There average lifespan in captivity was 12 to 15 years.

They are critically endangered in the wild and the managed breeding programme at Brooklands Zoo helped raise awareness of the need for conservation, Cozzi said.

 - Stuff

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