Teo's Journey to Brooklands Zoo

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True love has triumphed at Brooklands Zoo, overcoming distance and border restrictions for two cotton top tamarins.

8 year old Inca, who was born at Brooklands Zoo, has been without cotton top tamarin company since her parents passed away, but is now happily settled with 3 year old Teo, a male from Taronga Zoo in Sydney.

Months of careful planning were involved in Teo’s transfer to Brooklands Zoo, with multiple Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) permits & MPI vet checks, customs clearance, quarantine and freight agent processes.

Introductions for Teo and Inca began behind the scenes in a neutral area. They could see and hear each other at a distance to start with, then they moved to areas separated by mesh. Next, because all behavioural signs were positive, the pair were introduced into the same space.  

They have been inseparable ever since and have at times been seen sharing food and grooming each other says Brooklands Zoo Lead Eve Cozzi.

“They are a breeding pair and fingers crossed, we hope to see baby cotton top tamarins sometime in the future.”

Cotton-top tamarin monkeys in their habitat

Did you know:  

  • Teo’s full name is:  Teodoro Juan Pablo Gonzalez 
  • Inca’s name is of an ancient tribe from Peru
  • Inca has had capuchins nearby and an agouti for company
  • Approximately 10 different Australian and NZ government permits have been obtained including an animal welfare approval process relating to this transfer.
  • Hamilton Zoo was also involved in getting Teo to Brooklands Zoo, this is where Teo stayed during his quarantine period upon entering NZ
  • Cotton top Tamarins are critically endangered in the wild.  ‘Proyecto Titi’ is an agency based in Colombia which works with local partners and communities to protect cotton-top tamarins through public education and engagement, protection and restoration of forest habitat and field research. To learn more visit proyectotiti.com
Cotton-top tamarin monkeys Teo and Inca eating food