28 June 2017
Winter can only mean one thing for Australia's native wildlife, koala joeys! With koala breeding season running from the end of the year until early February, by the time the cooler weather hits the koala joeys that have been growing inside of their mum's pouches are ready to greet the world.
Australia Zoo has recently welcomed 12 koala joeys of their own but are pleased to share that they are also currently helping care for an extra two joeys born to two koalas from WILD LIFE Hamilton Island. Lola and Oprah have been staying at Australia Zoo since Cyclone Debbie heavily impacted their home on Hamilton Island earlier in the year. Not only are the koalas recuperating well, they are thriving as mothers.
Rob Hall, the general manager of WILD LIFE Hamilton Island, is thrilled to hear how well Lola and Oprah are doing with their new joeys at Australia Zoo.
"Considering what the animals had to endure during and post Cyclone Debbie, both females have done exceptionally well with their motherly instincts. The joeys are significant to the population at WILD LIFE Hamilton Island as they are the progeny of breeding males Banjo and Bill from our sister facility WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo who were sent up to Hamilton Island to improve the genetic diversity of our group," he said.
In the past three weeks, Lola and Oprah's joeys have started to become adventurous and have been popping their heads out for the first time and climbing onto their mum's backs to get a better view of the world. Just like Australia Zoo, the koalas on Hamilton Island provide international visitors with the perfect opportunity to learn about one of Australia's iconic animals. The addition of these two babies will offer guests insight and education into the unique reproduction process of Australian marsupials.
During the cyclone, WILD LIFE Hamilton Island's top priority was the well-being and safety of their animals. It was thanks to their quick thinking and preparations made by them and Australia Zoo that these two mums, along with the other koalas on the island were able to be evacuated safely.
"We are extremely grateful to the team at Australia Zoo for rallying to assist us at our time of need after Cyclone Debbie stripped the leaves off all the eucalyptus trees in our region, the primary food source for our koalas. While our koala mothers have done a great job so far one cannot discount the exceptional care and effort put into helping our animals by the team at Australia Zoo," said Mr Hall.
Australia Zoo are proud to have offered a helping hand to WILD LIFE Hamilton Island who have recovered remarkably well following the impact of Cylone Debbie. Our gorgeous visitors and their joeys are on track to return home to their beautiful Island home soon for guests in North Queensland to visit once again.
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