Two endangered monkeys have died in the Alexandria Zoological Park in Louisiana due to neglect from their caretaker.
The tiny cotton-top tamarins are one of the smallest primates and need temperatures of between 25-30C, but three of them were left out in the winter cold and only one was able to survived.
Public Works Director David Gill said in a news release “this appears to have happened as a result of human error and not a system problem.”
According to a spokeswoman, an investigation is being carried and the caretaker resigned.
The species is found in tropical forest edges and secondary forests in Colombia. They gained the highest level of protection by CITES in 1976 after an estimated 40,000 were caught and exported for use in biomedical research.
Even though the trafficking stopped, the species is still at risk due to habitat destruction and deforestation.
There’s only 6,000 cotton-top tamarins left in the wild, living in a forest 95 percent smaller than before.