16/06/2017 in Edinburgh Zoo
Koala keepers at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo are delighted to be able to announce resident male Goonaroo has become a father as a very special new arrival to the becomes more visible just in time for Father's Day!
Koala Territory’s newest resident was born on 31 January to mum Alinga and is doing well. Now, at almost 5 months old, the wriggly joey is almost too big for Alinga's pouch and often a hand or nose can be seen poking out!
Lorna Hughes, Team Leader for Koalas at Edinburgh Zoo, said: " Koala joeys are the size of a jelly bean when born and spend the first 6-7 months of their lives within their mother’s pouch where they grow and develop in preparation for life outside so it has been absolutely fantastic to see the joey growing bigger and now start to peek out of Alinga's pouch. We are so excited that Goonaroo has become a father again and we can't wait to meet our newest arrival properly once it fully emerges.
"Once the joey is too big to fit back inside her pouch, Alinga will carry the joey on her back for the next few months until he or she is ready to become independent.
“It's still early days and as this is a critical stage for our joey, we are asking visitors to Koala Territory to stay extra quiet as koalas are very sensitive to noise"
Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) are native to eastern Australia and are currently classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List. The main threats facing koala populations are habitat loss, wildfires and climate change.
As members of the European Breeding Programme for Queensland Koalas, RZSS Edinburgh Zoo makes regular contributions to conservation projects in Australia that help to rehabilitate and release sick and injured koalas back into their natural habitat.