A trio of twins at ZSL London Zoo
Thursday 23 February 2012
Triple-whammy of twin animals born in ZSL London Zoo rainforest exhibit
It’s double trouble all round at ZSL London Zoo this month, after three animals gave birth to twins within days of each other.
Zookeepers were astonished when the cotton-top tamarins, the slender lorises and the giant jumping rats all gave birth to twins in the tropical rainforest enclosure.
First to deliver their duo were Sabi and Turbo - the zoo’s pair of cotton-top tamarins. After a five month pregnancy mum Sabi gave birth to the critically-endangered twin tots in the early hours of the morning, with each measuring only 5cm tall.
The mini-monkeys, who can mostly be seen clinging onto mum’s back, have been named Jedward by their keepers, because of the eye-catching white tufts of hair around their heads.
Next to get in on the twin action were the zoo’s grey slender lorises. Born to mum Samaya and dad Saman in the middle of the night, the Zoo’s new pair is extra precious because these tiny nocturnal creatures usually give birth to just one offspring. The babies weighed just 20g at birth but will eventually grow to weigh ten times as much.
Last but by no means least, came the new arrivals in the giant jumping rat’s enclosure. Born completely hairless and with their eyes firmly shut, these rabbit-like rodents spend their time snuggled together in their nest box, with mum and dad taking it turns to babysit.
Zookeeper Nick Garrett said: “It’s exciting when we have just one new arrival at the Zoo, but to have three sets of twins arrive is really something special – there must be something in the water!
“The cotton-top tamarins are really precious because their species is so endangered in the wild and it’s really unusual for slender lorises to give birth to more than offspring.”
Come to the Zoo
Visit the twins and all the other animals at ZSL London Zoo by buying tickets online.