12 Days of ZooLights: Golden Lion Tamarin - NBC4 Washington

12 Days of ZooLights: Golden Lion Tamarin

A new animal each day in our 12 Days of ZooLights series. Are you as excited as we are?



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    Alfredo Flores
    Photo Credit- Alfredo Flores

    Welcome to 12 Days of ZooLights, where we celebrate the festive lights decorating the Smithsonian's National Zoo at the holidays!

    Today's Animal of the Day: Golden Lion Tamarins (GLT)

    Why We Love The Display: These monkeys manage to look adorably mischievous, even when they're made out of lights.

    Habitat: Golden lion tamarins are found in a tiny corner of the Brazilian rainforest. They live in lowland forests, but can also be found in hilltops and swamp forests.

    At the zoo: GLTs have a long history at the zoo. In 2007, the zoo celebrated its 22nd year of its free-range program, which allowed a family of GLTs to roam wildly in Beaver Valley for the summer. The program was a huge success and the monkeys have since been returned to the Zoo. 

    History: Tamarins are considered New World monkeys, which just means that they can be found in Mexico, Central and South America. Deforestation has taken a huge toll on GLTs habitation and the amount of viable rainforest for them to inhabit has been cut dramatically. As a result, conservation is necessary to save these creatures and the National Zoo is a forerunner in these efforts. 

    Bet you didn’t know... The longest living GLT on record lived to be 31 years old. That's more than three times their average lifespan!

    About ZooLights: In this yearly display, more than 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights transform the Zoo into a winter wonderland. Check out the new garden scene light sculpture.

    Thanks to our partners in the 12 Days of ZooLights.