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Geoffroy's Marmoset Dies at Smithsonian's National Zoo

  • Geoffroy's marmosets Edwin (left) and Lilo (right) sitting on a branch in their exhibit.
    Geoffroy's marmosets Edwin (left) and Lilo (right) rest on a tree branch in their habitat.

On Nov. 3, Small Mammal House keepers said goodbye to the Smithsonian's National Zoo's last Geoffroy’s marmoset, Lilo. Last week, she experienced an age-related and irreversible decline in health. Due to Lilo’s poor prognosis and declining quality of life, the animal care team made the decision to humanely euthanize her. At 12 years old, she was considered geriatric for her species; typically, Geoffroy’s marmosets in human care live about 7 years. Lilo arrived at the Zoo in July 2017 and served as a wonderful and charismatic ambassador for her species.

Lilo was one of the sassiest and most expressive characters in the Small Mammal House. She had a picky palate, and if keepers offered her a food she didn’t like, it was clear by the look on her face. For many years she shared the exhibit with her late partner, a Geoffroy’s marmoset named Edwin, and a screaming hairy armadillo named Amber. If she wasn’t satisfied with her own diet, she would occasionally come down to the ground and steal Amber’s treats! She eagerly interacted with keepers and seemed to enjoy “supervising” them as they went about their daily routines. Staff fondly remember and miss Lilo for her curious, high-spirited and lovable nature.