Koalas. There’s no denying they’re Australia’s cuddliest national treasure -- epitomised in emoji, caramel and cartoons worldwide.
It’s safe to say we’re pretty proud of our sleepy, furry friends. Which is why next-level excitement is in full swing over the news from Taronga Western Plains Zoo that the first Koala joey for the season emerged from its mother’s pouch.
The seven-month-old male joey, named “Thunder”, is the second joey for mother “Wild Girl”, who came into the Zoo as a Wildlife Hospital case after being struck by a car -- resulting in a permanent hip wound which meant she was unable to be released back into the wild.
As Koala numbers are declining in the wild due to habitat encroachment, every birth is a major win as it helps secure a bright future for the iconic species.
“Wild Girl is quite protective of Thunder -- he can be seen on the front of her chest for now but in the coming months will start to move on to her back,” Keeper Karen James said.
Keepers gave the male joey the name Thunder as he is the son of male Koala “Storm”. Naturally. Thunder is starting to test out eucalyptus leaves while just generally exuding all of the cuteness.