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Spring-like weather has given sharp-eyed Taronga visitors a chance to glimpse Lincoln, a six month old koala joey which has just started to spend most of his time outside of his mother’s pouch.

Australian Mammals Keeper, Lisa Cavanagh, said: “It has all happened very quickly, with Lincoln suddenly emerging in the last day or so. Only last week while I was showing two visitors the koalas, I noticed the mother, Maggie, walking along a branch with one of Lincoln’s legs hanging out of the pouch. The visitors didn’t notice the unusual fifth leg of the koala until I pointed it out to them and they were just centimetres away.”

“Lincoln is so small, he could fit in my cupped hands but he still clings to his mother Maggie, and will stay close to her for at least another six months. The pair spend the majority of their time sleeping and eating, with Lincoln clinging between his mother’s arms and legs while reaching out to grab young eucalyptus shoots which he has just started to eat.

Lisa said: “Even though it is happening right in front of them, most visitors are unaware of Lincoln’s existence unless we point it out to them.”

“To see the emergence of a joey koala is very rare, and we are just lucky that Maggie is very comfortable with people and has given us the opportunity to watch as Lincoln starts to explore the world outside the pouch.”

Maggie is six years old and loves an early morning scratch, especially in the hard to reach places around her pouch. She was hand-raised by a keeper at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, and is one of the most affectionate koalas at the zoo.

Taronga Zoo also plays host to another joey Eliza which still stays most of the time in her mother Yindy’s pouch, though even keepers can’t predict when she might take the chance to peek out.

Visitors can catch a glimpse of Maggie and Lincoln, as well as Eliza and Yindy at the new Koala Encounters exhibit next to the Platypus House.

For more of Lincoln and to see exclusive photos of his first forays into the outside world, follow TarongaSydney on Flickr. You can also keep up with the latest exploits of all the animals at Taronga Zoo by following us on Twitter.

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CONTACT: Natasha Hanckel-Spice, Media Relations Intern, Taronga Zoo Tel:  9978 4740.

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