Emperor Tamarins are popular new additions

Emperor Tamarin, taken by Ben Coulson at the Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre
Emperor Tamarin, taken by Ben Coulson at the Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre

A SMALL species of monkey with impressive moustaches are the latest additions to the Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre.

Two Emperor Tamarins arrived at the centre in North Anston earlier this month.

The brothers are Pancho aged four and two-and-a-half-year-old Pepe and both can live to around 17-years-old.

Senior Keeper, Elisabeth Blezard, said about the new arrivals: “The Tamarins have settled in really well to their purpose-built enclosure already.”

“They have heated indoor quarters, with a long over-head mesh tunnel that they can walk through to reach their outdoor enclosure.”

“This design provides an enriching environment for Pepe and Pancho, as well as a great viewing experience for visitors.”

The Emperor Tamarins are a small species of monkey which grow to only 26cm tall, with a 30-40cm long tail.

The fur on their bodies is grey/brown with and they have an orange/red tail but, most striking of all their features, are their incredible white moustaches. It is believed the species is named after the Emperor of Germany, Emperor Wilhelm II, who had a very similar moustache.

Emperor Tamarins are tree-living so the keepers at the centre have provided plenty of branches in both the indoor and outdoor parts of the enclosure for them to climb around and leap on.

During the wet season, the main source of food for wild Emperor Tamarins is fruit, with small amounts of fungi, sap and nectar; but in the dry season, nectar becomes a much more important part of their diet, whilst also feeding on occasional small insects, flowers, sap and flowers.

The animal keepers at the Tropical Butterfly House will be feeding the two new arrivals a specialised nutritious diet to mimic their wild food sources.

Their wild habitat ranges across Peru and Brazil. They tend to prefer lowland, evergreen and broadleaf forests and dense forest margins, living usually in groups of four (one female and three males) and patrolling large territories of up to 30-40 hectares.

They call loudly to announce their presence, especially near to territorial boundaries.