Australia’s Melbourne Zoo is celebrating the arrival of its newest koala – an unnamed five-month-old joey – the first to be born at the zoo in more than eight years.
The baby has just started to peek out from its mother’s pouch where it has been growing for the past few months.
The zoo’s Australian Bush keeper Maddy Jamieson said the joey and first-time koala mum Karri were doing well.
“Karri has been a fantastic mum so far,” Jamieson said. “She is feeding the joey really, really well and she is looking after her and doing everything that she is supposed to be doing.”
Karri was the last koala to be born at the zoo.
Her joey’s gender is not yet known, and it is not expected to emerge fully from her pouch for about a month, when it will start to eat the gum leaves that make up the adult koala’s diet.
Koalas have been listed as a vulnerable species in many parts of Australia with their population under threat from habitat destruction and disease.
They prefer to live in coastal forests, which are being cleared for suburban expansion, and are thought to have been victims of the ferocious bushfires that have swept through the country’s eastern coast in recent weeks.
Al Jazeera and news agencies