Over the last month, Perth Zoo’s visitors have delighted in seeing the tiny face of one of our newest arrivals peeking out from the branches of the koala exhibit in the Australian Bushwalk.
Boondi the male joey was born to mum Mia and dad, Slater around nine months ago.
He follows in the paw-steps of half-brother, Tarni, the first koala joey to be born at Perth Zoo in 15 years! Tarni was also sired by Slater with mum, Wanda.
Perth Zoo Senior Keeper, Steve said: “Wanda and Mia both came to us from Taronga Zoo and they took an instant liking to our male, Slater.”
Tarni has since moved to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary in Queensland to be part of the regional breeding program for koalas.
With the conservation status of koalas recently upgraded to vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the breeding program is even more vital in saving this species.
“To have another joey not long after Tarni is very encouraging, as we are working to have a diverse and sustainable population of koalas in our zoos,” Steve said.
Koalas are one of Australia’s most iconic animals, loved around the world (not to be mistaken for the infamous “drop bear”) and a favourite for visiting tourists.
Despite their popularity at Perth Zoo, koalas are not native to Western Australia. In the wild, they are found in South Australia and the eastern states.
The main threat to koalas in the wild today is habitat destruction of their homes and food source. These furry marsupials will only feed on particular types of eucalyptus leaves.
This is why recycling and using recycled materials is so important! The less we use, the more trees we keep in the ground.
Koalas sleep between 18 to 20 hours a day, so it is not uncommon to see Boondi cuddled up close to Mia and fast asleep. But for lucky visitors who are at the exhibit when the koalas are feeding, they can enjoy seeing a more active joey catching a ride on mum’s back or munching on same tasty leaves.
See below our video of Boondi spending some koala-ty time with Mia, and a few close photos captured by Perth Zoo keeper, Jenna.