I’m really excited to kick off a series of posts called “Wildlife Wednesdays.” In the series, members of the Disney’s Animal Programs and Environmental Initiatives team will share photos and information on the amazing wildlife at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
First up is one of my favorite animals – the cotton-top tamarin. I met my first cotton-top when I was a 19-year-old college student, which led to a life-long effort to help this criticially endangered, one-pound monkey with a wild head of white hair (yes, that’s how they got their name!) found only in northern Colombia, South America.
Guests who visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the theme park’s early years will remember that they could see cotton-tops in a habitat near the Tree of Life. Since just last month, cotton-tops are, once again, in this location – in a new enhanced habitat. Guests also can still visit cotton-tops (and golden lion tamarins and emperor tamarins too) at Rafiki’s Planet Watch on the pathway to Conservation Station.
Cotton-tops need our help. With fewer than 7,500 remaining in the tropical forests of Colombia and tropical forests being cut down every day, we don’t have time to wait. Find out more about what you can do by visiting the Proyecto Titi website. When you visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you can help by supporting the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund.
Cotton-top tamarin fun facts:
- Cotton-top tamarins live in families that range in size from 2-8 members – it’s mom, dad, and the kids.
- Female cotton-top tamarins generally give birth to twins once a year that weigh almost 15 percent of their body weight – that’s equivalent to a women who weighs about 150 lbs giving birth to two ten-pound infants!
- Can a cotton-top mom raise her babies by herself? Nope, she needs help. Mom, dad, brothers and sisters all help to take care of the babies. Cotton-top tamarins have perfected the art of babysitting.
- What do a cotton-top tamarin and a plastic bag have in common? Proyecto Titi has taught women to crochet using plastic bags like the ones we bring home from the grocery store. They make these beautiful tote bags called eco-mochilas that are sold in several shops at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Purchasing an eco-mochila helps communities in Colombia protect forests that the cotton-top tamarins call home.