When tennis star Dominic Thiem visits Schönbrunn Zoo, even the baby koala has to get a good look! An animal lover, Thiem was even godfather to Ilse the Anteater since 2016. Since Ilse’s passing in July, he’d been looking for a new godchild. One day after Thiem's sensational victory at the US Open, the Zoo also announced a sensation: the first koala cub in its history. During the break in training in mid October, the tennis pro found time to visit the zoo.
“It was an incredible experience to see the little koala for the first time,” said Thiem.
Zoo director Stephen Hering-Hagenbeck: “The young animal is now showing up more and more often. Once you see an arm, once a foot, then the head. It was great that it looked out exactly when its prominent godfather visited."
In order not to disturb the mother-child duo, koala dad Wirri Wirri posed for a photo with the proud godfather. Thiem has a great backhand in tennis, but he also shows a knack for animals. Thiem fed the giraffes with branches and paid a visit to the giant tortoise Schurli with his brother Moritz. Zoo director Stephan Hering-Hagenbeck was pleased about the tennis star's interest and thanked him warmly for the support.
Thiem: “The time at the zoo was a great regeneration for me. It's just something completely different and I made great use of the short break.”