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Treetop Koala Nuzzling

This past Friday the L.A. Zoo unveiled its newest little baby koala. While this fuzzy little friend was actually born in April, at that time it was only three-fourths of an inch long and immediately climbed into mom's pouch. Called a joey, this little boy or girl has been in the pouch ever since. That is, until last week! These are the first pics of the little guy out of the pouch with mom.



Between six and twelve months, little koalas are weaned from milk to eucalyptus as they stick their heads out of the pouch to eat partially digested leaves. After a year, the joey will leave the pouch for good. 


Photos by Tad Motoyama/Los Angeles Zoo

Baby Koala Debuts at the L.A. ZOO
The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens will unveil the newest member of the Zoo’s koala family on Friday, December 12, 2008 at 9:30 a.m.  Born on April 3, 2008, the newborn koala spent six months developing in the mother’s pouch. 
Baby koalas are commonly referred to as joeys.  When a koala is born, it is just three-fourths of an inch long.  After birth they climb into the mother’s pouch and stay there for six months.  For the following six months, they are weaned from milk to eucalyptus as they stick their heads out of the pouch to eat partially digested leaves.  After a year, they leave the pouch for good. 
Although they are often referred to as a “koala bear,” koalas belong to the marsupial family.  Marsupials are mammals whose females typically rear their young in a pouch through early infancy.  Other members of the marsupial family are kangaroos, wallabies, wallaroos, wombats and opossums. 
Native to Australia, koalas have a very low metabolic rate requiring them to conserve energy and to sleep between 18 and 20 hours a day.  They spend about three of their five active hours eating a diet that consists entirely of eucalyptus leaves.  Koalas consume 2 ½ pounds of leaves per day and rarely drink water due to the moisture found in eucalyptus leaves. 
Take advantage of a great deal to come see the koalas; now through the first of the year, one child is admitted free with a paid adult!  So parents can bring their children to the Los Angeles Zoo to see the koalas and pay a visit to Santa’s reindeer while they’re here!