A koala joey born earlier this year at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo delighted visitors by making its first public appearance last week.
The new arrival joined the UK’s only group of koalas on 31 January but was still curled up inside mum Alinga’s pouch until very recently. The little joey is growing fast but has only just ventured out of the pouch for the first time now.
Lorna Hughes, Team Leader for koalas at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, said “We are really happy that the joey has started to fully emerge. At seven months old the joey is almost too big to fit inside mother’s pouch, which means it will now be venturing outside more regularly. Soon it will begin riding on Alinga’s back until it becomes independent at around 12 months. We will also be able to begin weighing the new addition and determine its sex so we can name it.”
RZSS Edinburgh Zoo is the only zoo in the UK to have koalas and the joey will go on to join a European breeding programme. The zoo also support conservation projects in Australia that help to rehabilitate and release sick and injured koalas back into their natural habitat. Native to eastern Australia, koalas and are currently classified as vulnerable with the main threats to their numbers being habitat loss, wildfires and climate change.
For more information on visiting the new joey in Koala Territory at Edinburgh Zoo go to www.edinburghzoo.org.uk