Como Zoo names emperor tamarins after Gophers coaches Fleck, Pitino

- The Como Zoo’s twin baby emperor tamarins aren’t anything like gophers, but they are named after some golden ones.

The zoo announced Thursday the baby emperor tamarins, both males, are named P.J. Fleck and Richard Pitino – after the Gophers football and basketball coaches.

“The emperor tamarins are the youngest creatures at the zoo, and Coach Fleck and Coach Pitino are the youngest football and basketball head coaches in major college sports,” Como Zoo said in a news release. “And whether it’s at the zoo, ‘The Barn’ or ‘The Bank’ they all bring exciting energy to their respective habitats.”

In the wild, emperor tamarins can be found in parts of Brazil and Peru and their population is considered vulnerable. They are known for their long, white drooping mustache, which helps them identify each other.

The twins are currently about the size of a mini candy bar, according to the zoo, but tamarins usually grow to be approximately 10 inches long. 

The twins are two of only 28 emperor tamarins currently in zoos in the United States. The twins are the siblings of twins Luke and Leia, who were born in 2016, and Chewbacca.  You can find the whole family of emperor tamarins in the in the primates building.

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