When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

The First Winner At Rio 2016 May Be A Red-Headed Monkey

Mico-leão-dourado [Golden Lion Tamarin]
Mico-leão-dourado [Golden Lion Tamarin]
Giuliana Miranda

RIO DE JANEIRO - Every Olympics needs a strong mascot.

But for the 2016 Summer Games, the two animals leading the pack are in a rather weak position. Each of the two primates being considered to become the face of Brazil's first-ever Olympics is in risk of extinction: the mico-leão-dourado (golden lion tamarin) and muriqui are the names of two natives species endemic to the Atlantic Forest, a long strip of tropical and subtropical forest covering virtually the entire Brazilian coast, north to south.

Up to now, mico-leão-dourado, a kind of pop-star within Brazilian fauna, is leading the preferences. It has become well-known thanks to 20 years of publicity that made its red mane famous around the world.

“This animal is the face of success. It has a beautiful story, of engaging with society. People from all the world come here just to see it," says Luís Paulo Ferraz, CEO at the NPO Associação do Mico-Leão-Dourado (Golden Lion Tamarin Association), which heads the campaign to save the little monkey. “Besides, mico-leão-dourado has the color of gold medal.”

Awareness efforts have increased a previous population of 200 animals to the current 1,700. Part of it is due to protection and the recovering Atlantic Forest.

Singing support

In the other corner is muriqui, the largest primate on the South American continent. It has a strong team of supporters, including popular singers like Gilberto Gil and Chico Buarque, who are featured in a slick new video made for the campaign, led by Instituto Ecoatlântica.

"Muriqui is like the panda in China,” declares Russell Mittermeier, president of Conservação Internacional and a specialist on primates.

Mittermeier and the NPO are helping to globalize the campaign for muriqui, which is supported by Rio's regional goverment as well.

"It has fewer chances because it is not a famous animal. Mico is also at risk, but muriqui is in much higher danger,” says Mittermeier. Estimates are that only 160 muriquis live in Rio de Janeiro state now.

In spite of the campaigns, other species may be chosen instead of the two primates. The tatu-bola, another species in serious danger of extinction, is in the running as well. Proposals for the official mascot will come from the 15 communication agencies invited by the Olympic committee to offer their ideas. Ultimately, the muriqui and mico-leão will have to win the hearts not only of conservationists, but also public relations experts.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

Two-State v. One-State Solution: Comparing The Two Options For A Palestinian Homeland

For decades, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been left unresolved. Hamas's recent attack has forced politicians to confront facts: the conflict needs a definitive solution. Here's a primer on the two possible scenarios on the table.

Two-State v. One-State Solution: Comparing The Two Options For A Palestinian Homeland

At a art event in Gaziantep, Turkey, aimed at expressing solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

Elias Kassem

CAIRO — The Israel-Hamas war in Gaza has once again focused the world’s full attention on the Palestinian cause.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here.

Beyond the outrage and anger over the toll of Israel’s war in Gaza and the Hamas attack of October 7, there is a quieter international consensus that has been revived about forging a lasting settlement that includes the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside the Israeli one.

Naturally, there are the eternal (though largely resolvable) details of how that settlement could be achieved. Yet the so-called two-state solution is very much back in the conversation of international diplomacy.

At the same time, there is another scenario for the Palestinians to have a homeland: to share in a single state with Israelis — the one-state solution. There are supporters and opponents of the two solutions on both sides.

Here’s a look at what’s on the table:

Keep reading...Show less

The latest