By Harriet Whitehead
A photographer has captured adorable images of a newborn rare golden monkey – which is just four inches long from head to tail.
The tiny golden lion tamarin was pictured nuzzling into its parents and even appearing to laugh, having been born just two weeks ago.
The cheeky 10cm long monkey is a vital part of a conservation programme at Bristol Zoo aimed at safeguarding the species – with only 3,000 surviving in the wild.
The pictures were taken by a regular zoo visitor earlier this week.
The photographer, who does not want to be named, said: “The adorable but endangered baby golden lion tamarin was outside riding on its parents’ backs.
“It was awake and calling with quite a high-pitched squeak.
“I was quite amazed at how tiny the baby was.
“It was getting a lot of attention from the rest of the family. It was wonderful to watch.”
Bristol Zoo is now home to five golden lion tamarins – so called because of their miniature lion-like manes.
There are estimated to be around 3,200 left in their native Brazil where they are at risk due to the people destroying their Atlantic forest habitat.
Zoo bosses said it will be six months before keepers carry out a health check to find out whether the baby is a boy or a girl.
For the next couple of months the tiny youngster will remain close to its mum Missy and dad Dourado.
Shani Ratnayake, large mammals’ senior keeper, said: “If the youngster is confident and ventures away from mum and dad, we should be able to find out its weight in the next few months.
Shani said: “Apart from returning to mum for feeds it is spending most of its time with dad so he is having to do all the carrying.
“It’s normal for tamarin dads to take an active part in looking after youngsters, but Dourado is doing a lot more than usual.”