There are more animals that like to “monkey around” at the Blank Park Zoo these days. A pair of Golden-Headed Tamarins joined the other wild creatures at Iowa’s zoo and seem to be enjoying their new home in Blank Park Zoo’s Discovery Center’s conservatory.

“Golden-headed tamarins are exceedingly rare, says Ben Beck, Director of Conservation at the Great Ape Trust of Iowa and an international leader in tamarin conservation. “The international program for management of this species in captivity is rigorous and demanding when selecting institutions to care for these beautiful animals. Knowing that the international management group has entrusted a pair to the Blank Park Zoo is a great credit to the zoo staff. The tamarins are a significant addition to the cultural life of Des Moines, and will entertain and inform zoo visitors for years to come.”

Slightly smaller than squirrels, these tamarins are commonly called "kings of the jungle" because manes around their faces make them look like lions. All of the members of this family have claws that they use to dig under bark to gather meals of insects.

Native to the Atlantic coastal forests of Brazil, the Golden-Headed Tamarin is an endangered species with an estimated wild population of just more than 1,000 and a US captive population at 75.

The Blank Park Zoo, Iowa’s WILDEST Adventure, is open in the winder Thursday- Sunday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Admission is $9.95 for adults, $4.95 for children under 12, and $7.95 for seniors and active military. The Zoo is located at 7401 SW 9th Street, Des Moines, IA 50315. Visit the Zoo online at. The Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) The AZA is America’s leading accrediting organization that sets rigorous, professional standards for zoos and aquariums. The AZA is building North America's largest wildlife conservation movement by engaging and inspiring the 143 million annual visitors to its member institutions and their communities to care about and take action to help protect wildlife.