I think we can all agree that baby anythings are cute. Baby hippopotamuses, baby alligators, baby bears… So imagine my excitement when I found out that a baby Goeldi’s marmoset had been born earlier this week in the Graham Amazon Gallery. Squee!
This is the fourth baby born to Ginger, the matriarch, at the Vancouver Aquarium. Kristen Brown, the animal care specialist responsible for these animals, says that female Goeldi’s marmosets generally have two offspring a year. It’s amazing how easily she’s able to tell them apart, especially since they all look like black fur balls to the general visitor. As someone who works behind the scenes as a writer-editor, my eyes just aren’t trained for this type of animal observation.
Kristen says the baby will spend the next couple of weeks hanging on to its mom’s shoulders like a shawl. The baby will stay put for the most part, only crawling to the mother’s front side to breastfeed. In time though, it will start to venture out on its own and become interested in what everyone else is eating: fruits, vegetables and insects.
After two months, the baby will be at the point where it won’t need to stay so close to mom anymore. It will start jumping and climbing as it grows stronger. And if what is seen by the others is any indication – it will also start to chase and be chased by its brothers and sisters.
In the meantime, Kristin is going to keep a close eye on the baby to make sure it’s growing healthy and strong. Like any baby, animal or human, she wants to make sure that she doesn’t see any drastic change in behaviour, the baby is not lethargic and it’s having regular bowel movements.
When visiting the Goeldi’s marmosets at the Aquarium, look for the one with the furry lump on her shoulders (that’s mom). If you’re lucky – the lump (the baby) might turn its head and take a peek at you. And if I’m lucky and persistent, I might be able to train my peepers to tell this baby fur ball apart from all the other fur balls.
Now tell me – what’s the cutest baby animal you’ve ever seen?
And since we’re on the topic of “cute” – here’s a little “Melon Monkey” action to brighten your day.
(Written by Karen Horak, writer-editor, content and digital experience at the Vancouver Aquarium)