With temperatures gradually warming up across the Sunshine Coast some fresh new faces have been popping up at Australia Zoo!
This season’s koala joeys are starting to pop out of the pouch with the eldest of the eight new joeys now being seen regularly exploring their new home.
Head Koala Keeper, Kirsten Latham said as a result of the Zoo’s breeding program for the vulnerable species, several koala joeys are expected to emerge from their mum’s pouch over the coming months.
“It’s great to see some of our koala joeys testing out their new home and sampling the fresh eucalyptus leaves.”
“The eldest of the joeys are starting to make regular appearances out of the pouch and are learning a number of vital skills, including sitting by themselves,” Kirsten said.
The curious joeys will stay with mum for a year, learning crucial skills like climbing, grooming and choosing the best eucalyptus!
Australia Zoo has named the eldest koala joey Maple however the other joeys are yet to be named.
“Some of our joeys like Maple have naming lines but there will be a number of joeys who will be named by members of the public or local businesses who make donations to Australia Zoo to help us in our conservation efforts.”
Koala populations in South East Queensland are being significantly affected by disease, habitat loss and the increasing human footprint.
Every year Australia Zoo provides funds to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, renowned as a specialist medical facility for koala health and research as well as all other native Australian species.
“Interestingly, this year has been a dominant season for girls with most of the koala joeys being female. Maple has definitely been the star attraction over the last few days,” said Kirsten.
“As this little girl grows along with her fellow joeys they can be spotted in Australia Zoo’s ‘Mums n Bubs’ enclosure where they will become more adventurous with climbing every day and getting a taste for eucalyptus leaves. Be quick, these gorgeous joeys won’t be small for very long!”
Australia Zoo on Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast is one of the only places in Australia (along with Cleland in South Australia) where koalas can be cuddled.