Keepers at Taronga Western Plains Zoo are delighted to report early sightings of a male Koala joey that is now just over five months old and starting to emerge from its mother’s pouch.
The yet to be named Koala joey is the third offspring for mother, Wild Girl who is displaying very positive nurturing behaviours.
“We are really happy with how both mother and joey are doing. Wild Girl is an experienced mother and is showing all the right maternal behaviours,” said Keeper, Denyell Woodhouse.
Wild Girl arrived at the Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital after being hit by a car. Unfortunately because of her injuries she couldn’t be released. She joined the Zoo’s Koala group in early 2013 and has since played an important role in the breeding program.
“This is the first Koala joey to emerge from its mother’s pouch this season, and we are hopeful of having at least one more Koala joey emerge in the coming months,” said Denyell.
“At present visitors need to have a keen eye to spot the joey when it is out of the pouch, as it clings to the underside of Wild Girl however, as it grows and the weather warms up, it will start to be more visible and active.”
Koala joeys stay with their mother for up to 12 months of age. They will start to roam further and further away from their mother as they reach this age, exploring their surroundings before becoming fully independent.
A great time to see the Koala joey in the Aussie Walkthrough exhibit is at the daily keeper talk at 2:30pm.