She died giving birth on August 9.
We're sad to report that the National Zoo's golden lion tamarin, Izzy, has passed away.
The 7-year-old primate died on August 9 while giving birth to two babies, both of whom did not survive. The zoo announced the news on its Instagram account on August 18.
"We are sad to share that Izzy, our 7-year-old golden lion tamarin, died while giving birth overnight August 9," the zoo said.
According to the post, zookeepers kept a close watch on her condition in the weeks before her death and observed no concerning behavior. The Small Mammal House had bred her with male golden lion tamarin, Pedro, as part of a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan.
Izzy originally came from the Micke Grove Zoo in California before arriving at the National Zoo in 2016. She bred with male golden lion tamarin Mo and gave birth to Carolina, who has resided at the Prospect Park Zoo in New York since 2018.
We're sad to share that 7 y.o. golden lion tamarin Izzy died while giving birth overnight Aug. 9. She was pregnant with 2 offspring; sadly, neither survived. Keepers fondly remember Izzy for her bold nature + knack for solving enrichment puzzle feeders + toys. She will be missed. pic.twitter.com/NefoEPoNmU— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) August 18, 2020
The zoo recounted warm memories of her in the Small Mammal House, noting her "bold and fearless nature." She adored enrichment activities and was particularly good at solving puzzles before the other animals. She could also be a bit of a goof—she loved stealing food from her exhibit mate Vlad, the two-toed sloth!
Golden lion tamarins are native to South America and considered endangered, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List. The average lifespan is 8 years, though primates raised in human captivity can live as long as 20 years. The species depends on human intervention for its conservation: 2,500 exist in the wild currently, with about one-third descended from those cared for by people.
We are sad to see Izzy go. She will definitely be missed!
Do you have any fond memories of Izzy? Share them with us in the comments!