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Racine Zoo leads in emperor tamarin pregnancy research

Posted at 12:52 PM, Jul 06, 2018

RACINE -- The Racine Zoo has announced that they are expecting yet another emperor tamarin to their growing exhibit.

The female tamarin, Isabella, is once again pregnant according to a press release from the zoo. This comes after Isabella gave birth just last December. The zoo is one of two places in North America that have been successful in breeding the primates in recent years.

The zoo has been a leader in emperor tamarin research especially in regards to their pregnancy. They have been able to help the breeding process as well as give advice to other zoos across the country.

Crystal Champeau-Williams , Primary Primate Care Specialist at the Racine Zoo, said the predicting the due date for Isabella's last pregnancy to within two days was a huge step for their research.

"Knowing when to expect offspring allows us to have staff on-hand to monitor mom and baby in those first critical hours post-birth," she said. 

The Racine Zoo became the only known facility in North America to do an ultrasound on a pregnant tamarin. Over the years, staff collected as much data from Isabella’s pregnancies as possible by conducting ultrasounds every 1 to 2 weeks. Zoo staff was able to build their own database from the ground-up that measured in vitro skull and chest sizes at various stages of development in addition to charting fetal heartbeat and movement.

“As other zoos train their tamarins, we will also be able to provide this information to them;
helping others to determine their own due dates,” Champeau-Williams said.