These pint-sized primates have come a long way thanks to the work of good zoos around the globe!

Today, we’re joining forces with our zoo-colleagues around the world to celebrate International Golden Lion Tamarin Day. 

Having come back from the brink of extinction, there’s certainly a lot of conservation wins to celebrate for this tiny, adorable species. 

But more than just a cute face, the Golden Lion Tamarin actually represents the work of good zoos and the real, tangible change we can make to save wildlife from extinction. 

Back in 1970, the Golden Lion Tamarin was on the brink of extinction, with only around 200 of these gorgeous animals left in the wild. 

Had conservationists not stepped in, the species would have likely disappeared, only to be seen in history books. 

But in 1984, Smithsonian National Zoo in the USA coordinated an official reintroduction program to ensure the Golden Lion Tamarin could be given the chance to thrive in the wild. 

Over 30-years, zoo-born Golden Lion Tamarins were reintroduced into two nature reserves and now it is thought the population has grown to around 1600 in their native Brazil.

More than 70 per cent of the current wild population of Golden Lion Tamarins descends from the individuals bred in zoos and released into the wild. 

Pretty incredible, right? And while it’s important to celebrate how far this species has come, the work is not over. 

Check out what our friends at Save the Golden Lion Tamarin are doing to protect wild habitat! 

Perth Zoo is part of the regional breeding program working to safeguard the species. Our Golden Lion Tamarins are also powerful ambassador animals, helping to raise awareness for their cousins in the wild. 

You can help us save more species like the Golden Lion Tamarin, donate today. 


  • Golden Lion Tamarins have a number of vocalisations – they screech when playing, cluck when foraging and whine when they are alarmed. 
  • As an omnivore, a Golden Lion Tamarin enjoys a diet made up of flowers, nectar, small insects, frogs and lizards. 
  • Predators struggle to track Golden Lion Tamarins because they move around frequently, never nesting in the same spot for more than one night.