Taronga Zoo is delighted to share images of their new male Koala joey. The tiny face has appeared just in time to catch the warmer weather of an Australian summer.
The joey has been named ‘Banks’ after naturalist and explorer Sir Joseph Banks. This continues Taronga’s tradition of choosing names for their Koalas while honoring Australian heritage.
Banks is nine months old and is the second joey to mum Malleey, who gave birth to Baxter three years ago.
According to keeper, Laura Jones, Banks is now eating eucalyptus leaves, supplemented with mum’s milk. Soon he will be weaned and his diet will consist of only Eucalyptus leaves.
Banks has also now completely emerged from the pouch. “At ninth months old, he’s already experimenting with sitting on his own, which usually happens around 10 months, so he is a bit advanced for his age,” remarked Laura.
Koalas are one of Australia’s most iconic species. Unfortunately, Koala numbers are declining in the wild due to habitat encroachment, so every birth helps to secure a future for this iconic species.
Found along the East Coast of Australia, Koala’s are losing their homes due to deforestation. Being a sensitive animal, Koala’s do not translocate habitats well. Rather than cutting down trees and planting new ones elsewhere in the hope that wildlife will relocate, it is very important to protect their home today.
“It is particularly important for people to watch out for Koalas on the roads with the arrival of the busy Christmas period,” Laura added.
Taronga’s Koala breeding program has now produced three joeys this year. A great time to see the new Koala joey, in the zoo’s Aussie Walkthrough exhibit, is during the daily keeper talks at 3:30pm.
More great pics below the fold!