Extra-special set of cotton-top tamarin twins born at Auckland Zoo

An Auckland mother has delivered a set of cotton-top tamarin twins for the second time this year.

The mother is Auckland Zoo's cotton-top tamarin, Mrs Nuri, and the newborn pair of critically-endangered monkeys come as a welcome contribution to Auckland Zoo.

It's been a week since the zoo welcomed its newest members and they're blending right in, taking full advantage of the free piggyback service provided by their dad and older siblings.

But mum, Mrs Nuri, is taking a break as she's had a busy year.

"Gestation is about six months," says keeper Jacqui Hooper. "She would've gotten pregnant within a few weeks of giving birth."

But luckily for Mrs Nuri, cotton-top tamarin families provide excellent post-natal care. Immediately after the female gives birth, the male and other children step up.

"So they hold on so she can get about, eat enough food to produce milk and she doesn't have to carry twins at the same time which also enables her to get pregnant soon after giving birth," Hooper says.

The birth of this pair is extra-special as cotton-top tamarins are a critically-endangered species. There are roughly 6000 left in the wild.

"Every single birth is super-important and to have another set of twins in the same year is amazing, we're so lucky," Hooper says.

Here's hoping that luck will continue - but not until Mrs Nuri has had some rest and relaxation.