His story is somewhat mysterious. Apparently someone called Animal Control to report a strange little animal hanging around their back yard. After he was captured they called us, thinking he was a red-handed tamarin. We do have two of those, and plenty of room for another, so arrangements were made to transfer him to us since no other zoos or animal trainers had reported him missing. In all probability he had been someone's pet and either escaped or was set loose. Whoever he lived with was probably breaking the law by keeping him, so it isn't too great of a shock that they didn't advertise the fact that he was gone.
As soon as he arrived it was clear that he is not a tamarin, red-handed or otherwise! Fortunately though, we do have an empty spot for him. Hopefully in the future we can get him a partner since primates seldom enjoy living alone even if they are friendly enough (as this guy is) to accept a level of human companionship.
In the wild common marmosets make their living in a very unusual way: they chew through tree bark to get at the sap hidden within. They also eat soft fruits, insects, and whatever else they can find.
Their dentition, though, is specialized for the tree-chewing (that's what the guy at the left is doing). In some parts of South America they are common enough to occur in city parks; it must be quite amusing to look up and see a tiny cockatiel-sized monkey busily chewing a hole in the tree you're sitting under.
Of course, judging by our new charge, I now know that the same thing could happen in Los Angeles.