Taronga Zoo Sydney is delighted to announce the recent emergence of an adorable female koala joey, just in time for the spring school holidays. Born to experienced mum Willow, the joey is just under eight months old and is the first joey to emerge from its mother’s pouch this spring as part of Taronga’s Koala breeding program.
While the joey is growing well and hitting developmental milestones such as eating eucalyptus leaves and transitioning to riding on her mum’s back she is still yet to be named!
So, Taronga is calling on the community to help choose a name for the adorable new arrival for the chance to win a family pass to Taronga Zoo.
Taronga’s koala keepers have come up with a selection of names that pay tribute to the iconic Australian species including:
Minty - After the Narrow-Leafed Peppermint Gum, which is also a sweet treat that keepers include in the koala’s diet now and then
Phoenix – After the Black Summer bushfires of 2020. With the recent re-classification of koalas in NSW from threatened to endangered, it is with the hope that the species can rise from the ashes like the Phoenix.
Dora – After the lemon-scented gum, Corymbia citriodora found in north-eastern Australia
To enter, simply fill out the entry form via the following link and choose from one of the three names provided and tell us in 25 words or less why you think that name suits our latest arrival.
Ten lucky people who help us choose the joey’s name will win a family pass to Taronga Zoo Sydney valued at $152.
Koala Keeper Freya Stromsvag said that the birth of any species great or small at Taronga is something to celebrate. “I am incredibly lucky to work with and care for some of Australia’s most iconic native animals, but welcoming the birth of a koala joey, particularly a female joey is an incredible career highlight. And I do hope that all our guests that get the opportunity to meet this little joey are inspired to learn and do more to protect this remarkable species – there really isn’t any other animal like a koala on the planet so it is our mission to protect and ensure a future for them”.
The 2019/2020 Black Summer bushfires had catastrophic impacts on Australia’s wildlife, including Koalas. In February 2022, koalas were reclassified from threatened to endangered. To help secure a future for wild koala populations, Taronga, with support from the NSW Government as part of the NSW Koala Strategy announced the first of its kind Box-Gum Woodland Rewilding Sanctuary. The project will see 5,000 hectares of box-gum grassy woodlands established in NSW, providing critical habitat for a number of endangered species – including the koala. The find out more about this project please visit here.
Guests have the opportunity to meet the adorable new arrival and her mum Willow and learn more about this species by simply booking a Koala Encounter on their next visit to Taronga Zoo Sydney. The joey joins many new arrivals these spring school holidays including two Red Kangaroo joeys and Southern-hairy-nosed wombat joey.
With more than 4,000 animals to meet plus two spectacular presentations including Seals for the Wild, powered by Red Energy and The Free-Flight Bird presentation there is so much to see and do at Taronga! For families who plan to visit more than twice a year, a Taronga Zoo Friends annual membership is a great way to see our animals again and again. A membership provides 12 months of adventure for the whole family leaving plenty of time to make some magical memories.
If one day isn’t enough, there's still space to book an ultimate zoo sleepover at the Wildlife Retreat at Taronga. which includes amazing animal experiences and a two-day entry to the Zoo. Taronga is a not-for-profit organisation, so every dollar spent supports the zoo’s vital conservation efforts and has the power to protect the world’s remarkable wildlife.
Visit Taronga.org.au to start planning your family’s holiday adventures in wildlife conservation.
Photos by Harry Vincent