Image by @joelsartore | It’s easy to see where lion tamarins get their names. Thick rings of hair surround their faces, making them look like tiny, tree dwelling lions. They communicate using a variety of vocalizations and are quite territorial, and mark their areas with scent. These little primates can be found swinging from branch to branch in the canopies of Brazil. In the 70’s, only 200 lion tamarins were left in the wild. After decades of dedicated conservation efforts and breeding programs, their numbers grew to over 3,500. Today, about one third of the wild lion tamarins in Brazil originated from those raised in captivity.
These two tamarins were photographed at @lincolnchildrenszoo, a place that's been helping to save the species from extinction for over 40 years. So far, the Zoo has reintroduced zoo-born animals back into the wild on three separate occasions. Lion tamarins serve as an excellent example of a happy ending that can come from captive breeding and conservation programs in Zoos and other facilities.
Check out @joelsartore to see another image of these tamarins.