Golden-Headed Lion Tamarin twins at National Zoo bonding with parents

On Oct. 7, the Smithsonian National Zoo celebrated the arrival of golden-headed lion tamarin twins. They are the first of their endangered species born at the Zoo in 16 years. (Courtesy Smithsonian National Zoo)

We’re seeing double.

The Smithsonian National Zoo welcomed twin baby golden-headed lion tamarins to its family.

The little ones were born in October, and the yet-unnamed babies are being given time to bond with their parents, the zoo said. And their sexes won’t be determined until their first veterinary appointment when they turn 6 months old.

For now, the zoo said, they’re identifying each baby by their body markings. One has a prominent white patch on its tail. The other has an abundance of gold color.

The National Zoo said the babies’ traits “seem to reflect those of their parents.”

“Lola, their mother, is an outgoing and curious tamarin who enjoys interacting with enrichment and puzzle feeders. Golden Mane is like mom: playful, curious and mischievous! Father Coco tends to be more shy and reserved, and White Tail takes after him; they are more cautious, observant and stick close to dad’s side,” the zoo said.

It’s the first time in 16 years that golden-headed lion tamarins have been born at the zoo. The babies are the first born to 7-year-old Coco and 4-year-old Lola.

According to the Smithsonian, it’s estimated that less than 6,000 golden-headed lion tamarins are left in their native Brazil.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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