Today, Keepers at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo celebrated the highly anticipated arrival of the first koala joey for the 2015 breeding season, with the tiny male beginning to explore the world outside his mother’s pouch.
Yet to be named, the bundle of joy was welcomed into the world on 14 January 2015, to proud parents Erica (Mum) and Jack (Dad). Now seven months old, the fluffy youngster has become increasingly curious of his surroundings and to the delight of keepers, has even been spotted nibbling on Eucalyptus leaves.
Keeper at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Emily De Palo, said it’s an exciting time in the Gum Tree Valley exhibit, and remarked “We’re so thrilled to welcome this gorgeous little male koala joey to the family at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo! “He is progressing very well; reaching all his milestones and has tripled in weight since being born almost seven months ago.”
“The birth of this koala joey is a true testament to the expert animal husbandry skills of our keepers and the success of the dedicated koala breeding program here at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo. With every koala birth, we learn more about these precious creatures, which we hope will contribute to keeping them safe in the wild for generations to come,” said De Palo.
The Darling Harbour attraction’s breeding program also serves to educate visitors and provide a potential genetic pool for repopulation of koalas in the wild.
“Koala’s face a number of threats in the wild, including rapid loss of habitat as well as dog attacks and car strikes. Australia needs to do more to protect these iconic animals and education is just one of many steps that can be taken,” De Palo continued.
Earlier this year, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo announced a joint koala conversation initiative with its charity counterpart the WILD LIFE Conservation Fund, whereby all proceeds collected from donation tins and spinners displayed at the attraction are donated to koala research in the Blue Mountains in an effort to protect the species from extinction.
WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo’s newest koala joey will remain under close surveillance in the attraction’s Gum Tree Valley exhibit, where visitors can catch a glimpse of the youngster cuddling up to Mum in the treetops.
Guests can experience an up close and personal Koala Encounter and meet the joey’s furry friends, including last year’s joey’s Nutsy and Euccy, who now reside in the attraction’s Koala Rooftop exhibit. WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo offers the unique opportunity to dine in the close company of the attraction’s koala population, whilst surrounded in a bush garden setting.
For more information on WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo’s conservation initiatives or koala encounters and experiences, visitwww.wildlifesydney.com.au