Taronga Western Plains Zoo have spotted the first koala joey of the season poking its head out of the pouch for the first time. The joey has been identified as a male and was born in January 2015 to mum ‘Wild Girl’.
Keepers have selected the name ‘Thunder’ for him to match his father who is called ‘storm.’
Keeper Karen James said, “Thunder is approximately seven months old, born in January 2015. Wild Girl is quite protective of Thunder. He can be seen on the front of her chest for now but in the coming months will start to move on to her back.”
This is Wild Girl’s second joey. She arrived at the zoo’s Wildlife Hospital after she was struck by a car.
“Wild Girl recovered but due to a permanent hip wound, was unable to be released into the wild, so she has found a home at the zoo and this is her second precious joey,” added James.
Soon he will also have a little partner in crime joining him to explore the world as James explained, “We have one more joey in the Zoo’s Aussie Walkthrough, but it is still Pink and has not emerged yet from its mother’s pouch, but soon we’ll have two little ones for visitors to see.’
Koala births are important as numbers of these iconic little Aussies continue to decline due to human encroachment on their habitat.
Photo Credit: Taronga Western Plains Zoo