Spring is in full swing at Taronga Zoo, with keepers celebrating the arrival of two new koala joeys for this year’s breeding season.
A female joey has finally emerged from the pouch of first-time mother, Ruby, to the delight of visitors.
Born on Christmas Day, the joey was one month late in emerging but is quickly making up for lost time, exploring the world outside her mother’s pouch and tasting her first eucalyptus leaves.
“She got off to a slightly slow start, but she’s healthy now and starting to mouth leaves. Ruby is also becoming more comfortable and relaxed as a mother and her joey can often be seen snuggling in her belly when they are resting,” said Koala Keeper, Laura Jones.
Taronga will soon be launching a naming competition for the joey through its Facebook and Instagram pages.
Another of the Zoo’s koala breeding group, River, has also welcomed her first joey.
The male joey has been named ‘Bardin’ after the Aboriginal word for ‘ironbark’, one of the eucalyptus species favoured by koalas. At 10 months old, Bardin is steadily gaining weight and growing in confidence.
Taronga’s koala breeding program has now produced three joeys this season. River’s older sister, Tilly, also welcomed a female joey named Bai’yali earlier this year.
Visitors have started meeting the two new joeys following the reopening of Taronga’s Koala Encounter exhibit. Here they learn more about one of Australia’s most iconic species and why they are under threat from urban development and forestry breaking up their natural habitat.