Koala

Too Big for the Pouch, but Perfect as a Backpack

Owen the Koala clings to mom at the Riverbanks Zoo 2

Too big for mom's pouch, Baby Koala Owen has finally emerged for visitiors at the Koala Knockabout exhibit at the Riverbanks Zoo. Born to mom Lottie back in May, Owen started out as a jellybean-sized joey nestled deep within mom's pouch, but has since grown to a perfect Koala-sized backpack. For the most part, Australian animals in non-Australian zoos are rare and the Riverbanks Zoo was lucky to receive Lottie from South Carolina's sister Australian state of Queensland in 2003. In the early 20th Century, Koalas were almost hunted to extinction for their fur, which was exported to Europe and North America. Today, anyone who even thinks of buying a Koala fur jacket should probably be slapped, or at the very least, de-friended on Facebook.

Owen the Koala clings to mom at the Riverbanks Zoo 2

Owen the Koala clings to mom at the Riverbanks Zoo 2

Owen the Koala clings to mom Lottie at the Riverbanks ZooPhoto credits: Richard Rokes / Riverbanks Zoo


Your Saturday Squeeze

ZooBorns contributor ysaleth got this great shot of San Diego Zoo's proud Koala Mom Orana giving a "bear" hug to joey Miah yesterday. Despite the powerful grip, Koalas are not bears. They are not placental or 'eutherian' mammals, but marsupials, which means that their young are born immature & they develop further in the safety of a pouch. It’s incorrect to call them ‘koala bears'. Their correct name is simply 'koalas'.

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There is a myth that koalas sleep a lot because they ‘get drunk’ on gumleaves. Fortunately, this is not correct! Most of their time is spent sleeping because it requires a lot of energy to digest their toxic, fibrous, low-nutrition diet and sleeping is the best way to conserve energy.


Oliver the Koala Comes out to Play

Little Oliver the Koala was born back in April at the Riverbanks Zoo in South Carolina but, like other marsupials, spent his first months in mom's pouch. The little joey is only now too large for mom "Lottie's" pouch but still spends his days close by, usually clinging to her back or tucked under her stomach. 

Baby koala riverbanks zoo lottie and oliver 1 rs 

Baby koala riverbanks zoo lottie and oliver 2 rs

Baby koala riverbanks zoo lottie and oliver 3 rs

Baby koala riverbanks zoo lottie and oliver 6 rs2  

Baby koala riverbanks zoo lottie and oliver 5 rs 

Photo credits: Riverbanks Zoo

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Hanging Out with San Diego's Koala Joey

These photos, taken Sunday at the San Diego Zoo, show proud mother Orana and her young joey scouting their enclosure. The San Diego Zoo's koalas are offered fresh branches from several kinds of eucalyptus trees each day. These picky eaters can then select their favorite varieties. Koalas eat 1 to 1.5 pounds (454 to 680 grams) of leaves each day. Eucalyptus leaves are poisonous to most animals, but koalas have special bacteria in their stomachs that break down the toxic oils.


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Momma 

Upside_down 

Climbing 

Peeking 

Photo Credit: ysaleth

"Lincoln and Eliza Sittin' In a Tree", for Real...

The latest from Australia's Taronga Zoo: Two members of the Zoo's Koala family are out of their pouches and learning about their surroundings. Born about a month apart, the two are around 6 and 7 months old.  Lincoln, the elder male, and Eliza are not related, but can be seen close by one another in Taronga's Koala Encounters exhibit.

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Eliza peekin'

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Lincoln lets out a yawn.

3930391825_b3155f76dcEliza and Lincoln look similar, but it's fun to "spot" the differences.

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Both babies will remain close to their Mothers for about another 6 months.

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Tiny Twin Koala

Keepers at Australia's Wildlife Wonderland Park were amazed to discover that their resident koala had given birth to twins last week. Unfortunately there is only room for one koala joey at a time in mom's pouch and baby Kialla was forced out. Keepers are hand raising the baby koala, which requires round the clock care.