Too cute: Racine Zoo announces birth of baby tamarin twins

RACINE -- The Racine Zoo announced Thursday the birth of its third generation of emperor tamarin babies.

The twins were born on Earth Day -- April 22 -- to first-time parents, one of which was born at the zoo in 2017. The twins mark the ninth tamarin birth at the zoo since 2012.

The Racine Zoo is one of only three facilities to successfully breed emperor tamarins in six years and is critical to the breeding success of the Amazonian monkeys whose wild populations are declining due to deforestation and habitat loss. Emperor tamarins are small monkeys known for their charismatic white “mustache,” and are found in lowland rainforests of Peru, Brazil, and Bolivia.

"Marquis" -- the grandfather of the twins -- is the oldest emperor tamarin in any U.S. zoo at 12 years old -- one of 23 total tamarins in U.S. zoos.

“This is such a bright spot in an otherwise dark time amid the current pandemic,” said Beth Heidorn, executive director of the Racine Zoo. “Mother Nature finds a way to keep the world moving and we are fortunate to contribute to the success of this species.”

The Racine Zoo is currently closed to the public to slow the spread of COVID-19, but is looking forward to reopening when conditions allow. The zoo is also holding a #GivingTuesdayNow fundraiser HERE.