Taronga Zoo is delighted to announce the tiny face of a male Koala joey has appeared in time to catch the warmer weather. The joey has been named Banks after naturalist and explorer Sir Joseph Banks, which continues Taronga’s tradition of naming the Koalas inspired by Australian heritage.
Banks is nine months old and is the second joey to mum Malleey, who gave birth to Baxter three years ago.
Banks is now eating eucalyptus leaves, which he supplements with mum’s milk, says Zoo Keeper Laura Jones. It won’t be long until his diet consists of only Eucalyptus leaves.
Banks has also now completely emerged from the pouch. “At ninth months old, he’s already experimenting with sitting on his own, which usually happens around 10 months, so he is a bit advanced for his age,” says Laura.
Koalas are one of Australia’s most iconic species. Unfortunately, Koala numbers are declining in the wild due to habitat encroachment, so every birth helps to secure a future for this iconic species.
Found along the East Coast of Australia, Koala’s are losing their homes due to deforestation. Being a sensitive animal, Koala’s do not translocate habitats well. Rather than cutting down trees and planting new ones elsewhere in the hope that wildlife will relocate, it is very important to protect their home today.
“It is particularly important for people to watch out for Koalas on the roads with the arrival of the busy Christmas period,” Laura adds.
Taronga’s Koala breeding program has now produced three joeys this year. A great time to see the Koala joey in the Aussie Walkthrough exhibit is at the daily keeper talk at 3:30pm.