A baby southern koala is set to make its first public appearance at Longleat over the coming days.
The baby, known as a joey, is the first ever southern koala to have been born in Europe. Although mum Violet gave birth last year, the baby spent the first six months of its life safely inside her pouch and is only now beginning to start venturing outside.
The successful birth is a major milestone for the Wiltshire safari park which opened its purpose-built facility in 2019 and also for Lord Bath, who has been instrumental in bringing koalas to Longleat and is the patron of the Koala Life charitable organisation based in South Australia.
“The arrival of the first baby southern koala is a huge event for the entire team here and something we have all been working towards and hoping for since we launched the new facility three years ago,” he said.
“We are delighted with how well both mother and baby are doing. As well as being a first for us, this is also Violet’s first experience of motherhood and she is proving to be a caring and attentive parent.
“We are still not fully sure on the sex of the joey but hope to get a better idea when it starts to spend more time outside of the pouch. Currently we want to leave them alone as much as possible,” he added.
Koalas give birth after around a month-long pregnancy. The joey is born blind and hairless and about the same size as a jellybean. Within minutes, the tiny baby is able to find its way into its mother’s pouch.
As it continues to grow and develop, the joey will leave the pouch and explore. However, it will remain largely dependent on its mother until it is up to a year old.
Longleat has been working closely with the Government of South Australia and Cleland Wildlife Park to establish Koala Creek as a European hub for the species.
“It has been a long and complicated process, but this birth is really important for a number of reasons,” said keeper James Dennis.
“As well as helping to raise awareness of the southern koala and the threats it faces in the wild, it is also teaching us so much about the species’ complex lifecycle.
“One of the most concerning issues with regard to southern koalas in Australia is the high levels of inbreeding and so the fact we are able to begin establishing a genetically diverse population here in Europe is also really important,” he added.
At Longleat the koalas’ purpose-built enclosure includes a natural stream, eucalyptus trees, climbing poles, a mix of indoor and outdoor habitats, viewing areas, and a medical care unit.
A plantation of eucalyptus trees has also been established on the estate to provide the koalas with a regular supply of leaves, the only thing the marsupials will eat.
The facility is part of a ground-breaking joint initiative with the Government of South Australia, Cleland Wildlife Park and Longleat to support research and raise funds for koala management and conservation.
In the aftermath of the bushfires, keepers from Koala Creek travelled out to South Australia to help with the recovery programme and in 2020 Longleat donated over £50,000 to support koala conservation and recovery programmes.
“The breeding of the first southern koala born in Europe represents the culmination of this fantastic partnership to better understand and protect koalas,” said Professor Chris Daniels, from the University of South Australia and Chair of Koala Life.
“In addition, Longleat now has a small but vital group of healthy animals free of debilitating diseases including chlamydia and retrovirus. This will help us understand how to keep sanctuary populations heathy and provide important information about the effects of these diseases.
“So, this joey represents a small, but vital step in the process to secure the long-term survival of one of the world's most loved animals. A major achievement,” he added.
There are two main subspecies of koala; the smaller northern variety and the southern koala, which has much thicker fur and can weigh twice as much as their northern relatives.
Visitors will have their first opportunity to see the baby koala when Longleat re-opens to the public this weekend.
A baby southern koala is set to make its first public appearance at Longleat over the coming days.
Trick-or-treat your way over to Gumleaf Hideout in Australian Adventure to see Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s newest addition - a baby koala, also known as a joey! This is the second joey for mom, Mackenzie, and dad, Nyoonbi. Keepers first noted pouch movements on Mackenzie back in April. The joey has officially left the pouch and is climbing around on mom! Guests can visit mom and joey on even numbered calendar dates during regular Zoo hours.
Humphrey the koala joey was born to mum Willow and is estimated to be just over 12 months old
Koala joeys stay in their mother’s pouch for up to 6 months, it is only from around that age that they begin to emerge and attach themselves to their mother’s back
Humphrey is the first koala joey born at Taronga Zoo Sydney in over a year
This is mum Willow’s fifth joey, she is a remarkable mum and has been invaluable in contributing to Taronga’s Koala breeding program
Humphrey is far too big for mums pouch now, but as you can see does enjoy a cuddle or two or a ride on mums back
Humphrey is growing in confidence every day and hitting milestones like developing the strength the jump from branch to branch within his exhibit
Although Taronga is currently closed, guests can tune in to Tarongatv.com to get their daily dose of animal antics!
Every day until the end of lockdown, Taronga TV will be pumping out a packed schedule of amazing animal content, including keeper talks, live animal streams and exclusive behind-the-scenes sneak peeks to showcase what the animals get up to behind closed doors
Tune in now Taronga TV now at tarongatv.com
Taronga Zoo Sydney is proud to announce the emergence of a brand new and ridiculously cute 8-month-old Koala joey named Humphrey!
Now not to be mistaken, the Koala joey was not named after Humphrey B. Bear. The little one was actually named by one Taronga’s very generous foundation members, who for many years have supported Taronga’s ongoing conservation and threatened species work.
Humphrey and mum Willow are reported to be doing incredibly well, with Senior Koala Keeper Laura Jones revealing that the joey “is already beginning to attempt to eat eucalyptus leaves and is hanging on really tight to mums back”.
Humphrey and mum Willow are out on display at Taronga Zoo Sydney’s brand new Koala Encounter Exhibit which has recently moved across from Taronga’s Koala Walkabout. For your chance to meet Humphrey and Willow, guests can book their encounter at Taronga’s onsite retail store whilst on their next visit to Taronga Zoo Sydney.
Over the last few days, Zoo Zurich has reported the emergence of a Koala Joey. While it’s showing a keen interest in snacking on Eucalyptus, it still needs its mother’s milk to survive. Believe it or not, the joey is already 7 months old! Mother Pippa clearly trusts her joey has a firm grip as she clings from branch to branch. The pair get quite a workout and after so much movement so they do take extended rests. The joey was born on April 13, but its sex remains unknown.
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.”
Amidst the tragic news coming out of Australia due to the catastrophic fires that have caused great harm and death to many thousands of people and nearly half a billion animals, Zoo Miami is elated to announce some good news that is directly connected to the ravished continent.
For the third time in the zoo’s history and the first time in over 28 years, a surviving koala has been born at the zoo!! Though the actual “birth” took place on May 30th of last year, it was only yesterday that the joey (baby koala) first came completely out of the pouch! Because koalas are marsupials, they have a very short pregnancy (around 30 days) and when the baby is born, it is practically in an embryonic state, totally hairless, with non-developed eyes, tiny limbs, and the size of a bumblebee. Immediately after being born, the joey makes a difficult journey as it instinctively crawls into the mother’s pouch where it remains for approximately 6 months, continuing to develop, before emerging when it actually looks like a baby koala. Those 6 months are the most precarious of the infant’s life (Zoo Miami lost several joeys during this period in the past) so it is not until it finally emerges from the pouch and is strong and healthy that zoo staff can breathe a sigh of relief and truly celebrate!!!
The joey’s mother is “Rinny,” which is short for “Merindah koolawong” which are the Dharug aboriginal words for “beautiful” and “koala.” She is 4 years old and was born at the Riverbanks Zoo in South Carolina on October 21st, 2015. She arrived at Zoo Miami on September 21st, 2018 and this is her first baby!
The father is “Milo,” and he 8 years old and was born at the San Diego Zoo on July 2, 2011. He arrived at Zoo Miami on May 3rd, 2016 and this is also his first baby!
Though Zoo Miami are still not certain of the sex of the joey, because of what is happening in Australia, zoo staff, in collaboration with the Gail S. Posner Trust, and Sanford J. Schlesinger, Trustee, principal patrons of the Koala Exhibit, have decided to name the infant, “Hope.” It is Miami's desire that this baby koala will help to bring a small ray of hope to all that are suffering in Australia and be a symbol for a positive future for the priceless wildlife that lives there. In addition, Zoo Miami will be making a $10,000 donation to the Zoos Victoria Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund in support of the herculean efforts being undertaken to safe the countless animals being affected by this disaster. Others interested in supporting this effort can make donations by clicking on https://www.zoo.org.au/fire-fund/ or directly to the Zoo Miami Foundation at www.zoomiami.org/donate and stipulate “Australia” in the memo section. Those funds will be added to the initial $10,000 donation made through the Zoo Miami Conservation Fund.
A Koala joey recently started to peek out of its mother’s pouch for the first time at ZooTampa at Lowry Park. The joey is the first Koala baby born at the Zoo in its history.
Once an embryo the size of a jellybean, the joey made the journey to mom Ceduna’s pouch, where it is finishing its final stages of pouch life development, with dad Heathcliff nearby.
Koalas are mammals and sometimes referred to as bears, even though they are not. Rather, Koalas are marsupials that differ from other mammals because their newborns develop inside mothers’ pouches instead of a womb. Initially, a joey is blind and earless and relies on natural instincts and strong senses of touch and smell to find its way from the birth canal to its mother’s pouch.
Ceduna, who arrived at the Zoo in 2015, and Heathcliff, who arrived in 2014, are part of the Zoo’s effort to conserve the koala through the Species Survival Plan (SSP) of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). After the pair’s successful mating, veterinary and animal care teams are celebrating the recent birth and new addition to the zoo’s Australia habitat, Wallaroo Station.
Throughout the pregnancy and joey’s development, Ceduna’s care has included thermography scans that inform her care team of changes in her muscular, skeletal and nervous systems and ensure optimal health.
“We do routine check-ups with Ceduna to build strong bonds with her and ensure the highest quality of care,” said Lauren Smith, D.V.M., veterinarian at ZooTampa. “The animal care team continues to monitor Ceduna and her baby closely as the joey’s exciting development continues.”
One of Australia’s most iconic animals, Koalas live primarily in forests and woodlands dominated by eucalyptus plants. Though poisonous to other species, specialized bacteria in a Koala’s digestive tract enables it to break down the plant’s toxins and rely heavily on eucalyptus for its food. Mature Koalas spend up to five hours feeding on the plant leaves every day. For this solitary species, the rest of the day is spent sleeping. Up to 95 percent of a Koala’s life is spent by itself.
In large part because of Australia’s national pride in the species, Koalas have survived the threat of extinction from habitat loss and hunting. ZooTampa is committed to continuing to aid the conservation of the species.
“We are proud to support conservation initiatives both at home and beyond,” said Dr. Larry Killmar, Senior Vice President and Chief Zoological Officer at ZooTampa. “Our partnership with the Australian government allows us to support the goals and objectives of the Koala Species Survival Plan.”
Guests can catch a glimpse of Ceduna practicing her yoga poses while her joey clings to her back or belly, until it reaches one year old and can begin climbing trees on its own. To get an even closer look at this unique species, guests can add a Koala Photo Encounter, presented by the Yob Family Foundation, to their visit to meet the joey’s dad, Heathcliff, and receive a photo. Guests are encouraged to stay tuned to the Zoo’s social media pages for more Joey updates.
An eight-month-old Koala joey at the Royal Zoological Society’s Edinburgh Zoo was weighed with the special assistance of a cuddly toy last week.
Kalari, whose Aboriginal-inspired name means ‘daughter’, is one of the UK’s only Queensland Koalas. She is also the first female of her kind to be born at the Zoo.
Like all young joeys, she spends most of her time clinging to mum, Alinga, so keepers use a soft toy to give her something to hold on to during health checks.
As well as being members of a worldwide Koala breeding programme, RZSS also supports conservation projects in Australia that help to rehabilitate sick and injured Koalas and release them back into the wild.
It’s spring in Australia, and the Healesville Sanctuary finally got a look at a baby Koala that is just beginning to explore outside of mom’s pouch.
Born the size of a jelly bean to first-time parents Hazel and Noojee, the unnamed male joey has spent the past six months growing in Hazel’s pouch.
“When he was first born, he was pink, hairless and tiny,” said Koala Keeper Kristy Eriksen.
“We watched him make his way from the birth canal to the pouch completely unaided, relying on his already well-developed senses of smell and touch and an innate sense of direction,” Eriksen said.
The joey recently began exploring more and more, with his confidence growing each time he ventures out of Hazel’s pouch. Soon he will be riding on Hazel’s back and will eventually graduate to climbing trees all on his own - under mom’s watchful eye, of course.
Koalas are marsupials, a group of mammals that give birth to highly underdeveloped young. The newborn crawls on its own from the birth canal into a pouch on the mother’s body. Inside the pouch, the tiny infant, called a joey, attaches to a teat where it nurses and completes its development. After a few months, the joey begins to peek out of the pouch. Even after emerging completely from the pouch, a joey will seek refuge there, even when it can barely fit inside.
Despite being Australia’s most iconic animal, Koalas are under significant threat due to habitat destruction and fragmentation for agricultural and urban development. Koalas are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Don't miss more photos of Hazel and her joey below!