Zoo-Goers helped name the twins at www.ProspectParkZoo.com

Video of Tira and Misu

Brooklyn, NY – June 21, 2010 – Recently, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Prospect Park Zoo debuted twin baby Geoffrey’s tamarins that were born just in time for Father’s Day. Zoo-goers were invited to help name the twins on the zoo’s website and the results are in. By popular demand, with a total of 169 votes, the twins are now called Tira and Misu. “In keeping with the delectable names of the parents and siblings, we selected a pair of names that are reasonably gender neutral and certainly as sweet as these twin monkeys” said Facility Director Denise McClean.

Tira and Misu are less than six inches long and sport adorable scrunched-up faces. These precious primates don’t stray too far from mom and dad and the father often provides a much needed break for his mate as he gives piggyback rides to the tykes.

Although they are still too young for zoo keepers to identify the gender of the baby tamarins, both keepers and zoo-goers are enjoying the new arrivals.Tira and Misu are adjusting nicely to their new environment in their naturalistic forest setting in the zoo’s Animal Lifestyles building.

Geoffrey’s tamarins are native to South America and live in groups that can have as many as 20 members. All troop members help care for the young, including males. Like other tamarins, Geoffrey’s tamarins are arboreal, so they depend upon healthy forests for food and survival.

Unfortunately, healthy forests in central and eastern Panama and Columbia are getting harder to come by for this species. Deforestation and other types of habitat loss are putting monkey species in serious peril in the wild. In an effort to protect the tamarin and other regional primates, WCS works in these native lands to reconcile human development needs with wildlife and wild land conservation. 

Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © Wildlife Conservation Society

Video Credit: Luke Groskin © Wildlife Conversation Society

Fran Hackett - 718-265-3428; 718-399-7339; fhackett@wcs.org

Wildlife Conservation Society’s Prospect Park Zoo – $7.00 for adults, $4.00 for seniors 65 and older, $3.00 for kids 3-12, free for children under 3. Fall hours are 10a.m.  to 5:00 p.m. weekdays and 10am to 5:30 pm weekends and holidays. The Prospect Park Zoo is located at 450 Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. For further information, call 718-399-7339 or visit www.prospectparkzoo.com

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide.  We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth. 

Special Note to the Media: If you would like to guide your readers or viewers to a web link where they can make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct them to: www.wcs.org/donation