BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo was deeply saddened Tuesday to announce the death of the golden lion tamarin that was born this month.
The newborn animal, which was born at the Baton Rouge Zoo on March 9, was found in an extremely weakened condition by zoo keepers Monday morning. The baby was immediately put in the care of the staff of the zoo's George Felton, Jr. Veterinary Hospital. Unfortunately, the baby tamarin died later Monday despite the veterinary team's efforts. Officials do not yet know what caused the newborn's death.
"Once it got to the hospital, we tried our best to revive its strength by providing it with heat and medication, but it just wasn't enough to save it," said Dr. Gordon Pirie, the zoo's veterinarian. "It's a sad day, not just for us, but for the zoo community as a whole. All of us work cooperatively to help build these endangered animal populations, so we all feel the losses when they occur."
According to the zoo, more than 40 percent of all golden lion tamarins die within the first month after birth. The LSU veterinary staff will perform a necropsy later in the month to help figure out the official cause of death.
The zoo was excited on Friday to announce the arrival of a new baby golden lion tamarin. It had been put on exhibit with its mother and father, who are on loan to the Zoo from the Brazilian government. The baby was the first golden lion tamarin born at the Zoo since March 2010.
Native to the tropical forests of Brazil, the golden lion tamarin is currently listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List. The destruction of ninety percent of the Atlantic coast's forests for logging and development have played a major role in its current endangerment.