Get ready for an explosion of cuteness as WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo in Darling Harbour announces a precious, Endangered koala joey. The nine-month-old male joey, named Parker, is a living testament to the zoo's breeding program. The joey spent its first six months snuggled safely inside his mother's pouch before popping out to surprise keepers and guests with his irresistible charm.
Parker has been hitting all of his milestones and today, during his very first weigh-in, delighted keepers with his weight progress – reaching a perfect 1.24 kilograms! A vast difference from his birth weight of just one gram! Koala joeys, like all marsupials, enter the world under-developed before making the journey to their mum’s pouch, where they continue to grow and develop.
Parker has now emerged from mum Kyara’s pouch, regularly hitching a ride on her back and familiarising himself with the outside world. Koala mums provide their joeys with a sample of their poo, in a process known as ‘papping.’ Koala joeys must digest this nutrient-rich delicacy to ensure their gut flora is well prepared to allow the digestion of highly toxic eucalyptus leaves.
“We couldn’t be happier to welcome this adorable new addition to the WILD LIFE Sydney family. Parker is a symbol of hope for the future of koalas, whose populations have been significantly impacted by habitat loss and unprecedented changes in our climate, including the horrific 2019/2020 bushfires, which is estimated to have killed 1 billion native animals."Chloe Richards, Koala Keeper, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo
Australia’s wild koala population was re-assessed and re-classified to Endangered on 12 February 2022, granting the species higher priority for protection with increased efforts by conservation groups, including zoos.
Visitors can get up close to the zoo’s nine resident koalas by participating in a Koala Photo Experience. For more information or to book tickets visit please visit: www.wildlifesydney.com.au