August 15th, is the official Day of the Cotton-top Tamarin in Colombia so Animal Kingdom has created a celebration for guests to enjoy. Get ready to participate in a variety of activities from learning how scientists track tamarins in the forest, what cotton-tops like to eat, and how people in Colombia are helping to recycle plastic bags into amazing tote bags called eco-mochilas. But a cotton-top tamarin celebration wouldn’t be complete unless you learned the cotton-top tamarin dance and enjoyed a tasty cotton-top tamarin cupcake
Sometimes called the “punk rock primates” because of their wild manes of white hair that outline their black faces, their numbers are dwindling because of habitat loss and the pet trade. Because of efforts by Dr. Anne Savage, Conservation Director for Disney’s Animal Programs and other conservationists, the cotton-top tamarin has been added to the critically endangered species list, giving them international protection from the federal government to prohibit them from being hunted or captured.
Guests can see cotton-tops in Discovery Island in a habitat in front of the Tree of Life and also at Rafiki’s Planet Watch in Habitat Habit!, a fun and educational wildlife trail between the Wildlife Express Train and Conservation Station. Cotton-tops have been on exhibit at Disney’s Animal Kingdom since 1998 and serve as ambassadors for the species so that guests can better understand the importance of conservation efforts to help protect them.