Two endangered monkeys born at Auckland Zoo

9:10 am on 16 June 2018

Two endangered tamarin cotton-top monkeys have been born at Auckland Zoo this week, marking the first time in 16 years the zoo has bred cotton-tops.

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The father carries the cotton-top tamarin babies. Photo: Supplied / Auckland Zoo

They arrived on Tuesday night, each weighing less than 500 grams.

The zoo's primate team leader, Amy Robbins, said the new parents were settling in well to their new role.

"We're very please how mum's doing, she's a first-time mum, but she has had experience in a family group before seeing her siblings raised, so that's really important for tamarins, for most primates actually."

Ms Robbins said the zoo staff were "buzzing about the new arrivals".

"It's exciting to have our cotton-top parents starting to build their troop, and being a critically endangered species makes the babies arrival even more special. They're showing signs of being great parents, with Mum feeding and Dad carrying them."

It will be a few weeks until zoo staff know the sex of the babies, as they tend to cling tightly to the parents, Ms Robbins said.

Cotton-tops are critically endangered in the lowland forests of South America having lost 80 percent of their original habitat over the last 40 years to deforestation for agriculture, paper and timber supplies.