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'.


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.






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.

Eliza peekin'

Lincoln lets out a yawn.

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



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


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.

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

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