Sticky solution to bedtime snack

Keepers found themselves in a sticky situation when trying to round up 11 pygmy marmosets for the night.

DZG-gum-2-webThe perky primates didn’t want to go to bed, but staff solved the problem by offering them their favourite treat – gum arabic, a gluey tree sap which the mini marmosets adore.

Although keepers say the gum tastes like glue on envelopes, the marmosets are so keen they come running to get their share, and staff are then able to secure them in their overnight quarters.

Senior Keeper Kirsty Thornton explained: “The marmosets eat berries, fruit and flowers, and they also love live food, such as little worms, locusts and crickets. But their favourite food of all is gum arabic.

“In the wild they gnaw on the bark of trees and then lick the sap, but we feed it to them in small containers which we spread around their enclosure.

“When they don’t want to come in at night, we get round it by using the gum as a reward.”

CAPTION: Team Leader of Upper Primates, Pat Stevens, prepares a sticky snack for pygmy marmoset, Rogue – his favourite gum arabic.