Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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Koala joey Thunder

The first Koala joey for the season at Taronga Western Plains Zoo has emerged from its mother’s pouch, much to the delight of Zoo Keepers and visitors.

The male joey, which has been named ‘Thunder’, is the second joey for mother ‘Wild Girl’, who came into the Zoo as a Wildlife Hospital case 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 found a home at the Zoo and this is her second precious joey,” Keeper Karen James said.

 “Thunder is approximately seven-months-old, born in January 2015. Wild Girl is quiet 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.”

Keepers gave the male joey the name Thunder as he is the son of male Koala ‘Storm’.

Thunder is starting to test out eucalyptus leaves and transitioning from his mother’s milk and pap (pap is a fluid released from the mother Koala to help transition the joey from milk to the leaves.)

Keeper Karen was excited to announce “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.”

Unfortunately Koala numbers are declining in the wild due to habitat encroachment, so every birth helps to secure a future for this iconic species.

 Taronga Western Plains Zoo is located in Central Western NSW and is open every day from 9am – 4pm. For more information please call 6881 1400.

 Media Contact: Kellsey Melhuish, PR and Promotions Coordinator, Taronga Western Plains Zoo T: 02 6881 1413 M: 0420 962 376 E:  

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