Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



In 2007, the Zoo marked the 22nd year of its free-ranging GLT program. In June of that year, a GLT family was released in Beaver Valley for the summer. The family included a male, Eduardo, and a female, Laranja, and four of their offspring. The outdoor exhibit included a nest box, ropes that mimic the jungle vines of the tamarins' native Brazilian forest habitat, and food stations. The GLTs were returned to the Small Mammal House in late October.

The Zoo's GLT free-ranging program has been put on hold due to the Elephant Trails construction and other projects. It is our hope to reinstitute this very popular and educational program at some point in the future.

Several golden lion tamarins, including those that were free ranging in the past, can be seen at the Small Mammal House.

The Zoo has been working to save these small Brazilian monkeys for more than 30 years.

Tamarins are territorial and tend to stay within a few hundred feet of their nest. The Zoo's adult free-ranging tamarins were fitted with radio collars so scientists could track them when they went out of sight. If the tamarins wandered too far, scientists could sound a recorded tamarin territory call near the nest box to attract the monkeys back to their free-range exhibit.

The free-ranging tamarins were presented with a variety of ways to get food to encourage them to forage and explore. Some food was left in hanging trays, some put in tubes with small holes, and some hidden in crevices. Tamarins' long slender fingers and arms are made for probing into small spaces. The location of the food was changed often to keep the tamarins exploring.