BRISBANE’S Alma Park Zoo has raised $1,500 for Proyecto Titi, helping to buy a section of rainforest in Columbia, home to a rapidly decreasing number of Cotton Top Tamarins. On the first weekend of the school holidays, Alma Park Zoo held a Cotton Top Weekend inviting the public to “Monkey around” with Zoo staff to raise the much needed funds.

“We held primate enrichment demonstrations, face painting, limbo dancing, silent auctions of artwork and lots of other activities for families,” the Zoo’s curator Dr Heather Hesterman said. “A favourite activity was the ‘Crazy Hair Stand’ where people could get funky with gel and brightly coloured dye to imitate the Cotton Top Tamarins’ well known ‘punk’ hairdo.” Dr Heather Hesterman said the funds raised from the weekend would be a great boost for “Proyecto Titi” or Project Tamarin.

Fundraising for Proyecto Titi will continue throughout the school holidays, with the Zoo selling “Eco-mochila” bracelets – uniquely woven from plastic bags by women from Los Limites, Columbia and the continuing auction of exclusive Cotton Top prints. “There are as few as 1000 Cotton Tops left in the wild, giving Cotton Tops the dubious honour of being on the list of the most endangered primates in the world,” Dr Hesterman said.

“The money raised by the Zoo is sure to go a long way to protect these remaining few and I am very grateful for the contribution from our visitors. It is great to share conservation messages and make a difference to the wild cousins of some of our Zoo’s favourite family members.”