First koala joey makes debut at Australia Zoo
THE FIRST KOALA joey born this season at Australia Zoo in Queensland has made his debut in the past week, poking his head out of his mum’s pouch for the first time.
The yet-to-be-named baby male koala is the first of a record 13 born on Koala Island as part of the zoo’s breeding program, which focusses on genetic diversity in an effort to save the vulnerable species.
“The population of koalas in Queensland are being radically affected by disease, habitat loss and the increasing human footprint,” said Kirsten Latham, head of the Australia Zoo koala department.
The new joey will stay with his mum, Ash, for over a year while he learns a variety of life skills such as climbing and grooming, before reaching independence. According to a statement released by the zoo, “the little daredevil has already been caught climbing onto his mum’s head while the other joeys are still nestled in the pouch!”