Florida Zoo Names Newborn Koala ‘Hope’ Amid Bushfire Crisis
A baby koala who emerged from its mother’s pouch at a zoo in Florida earlier this week has been hailed as a symbol of hope during a time of tragedy, as the Australian bushfires continue to burn.
The baby animal, who has affectionately been named Hope, is the first surviving koala to be born at Zoo Miami in more than 28 years.
Although the actual birth took place in May last year, Hope finally came out of her mother’s pouch on Wednesday, January 8.
Watch Hope’s incredible first appearance here:
Sharing the adorable video on Twitter, Zoo Miami wrote:
For the third time in the zoo’s history and the first time in over 28 years, a surviving koala has been born at the zoo!!
Though the actual ‘birth’ took place May 30th of last year, it was only yesterday that the joey first came completely out of the pouch!
The video shows the joey emerging from its mum’s pouch and curling up into its mother’s arms.
In a Facebook post, the zoo further explained that a female koala has a short pregnancy, but normally goes on to carry her baby in her pouch for another six months following the actual birth, before the baby emerges.
According to the zoo, the six months spent in the pouch are ‘the most precarious of the infant’s life’, adding that many of them don’t survive beyond this stage.
The post explained:
Because koalas are marsupials, they have a very short pregnancy (around 30 days) and when the baby is born, it is practically in an embryonic state, totally hairless, with non-developed eyes, tiny limbs, and the size of a bumblebee.
Immediately after being born, the joey makes a difficult journey as it instinctively crawls into the mother’s pouch where it remains for approximately 6 months, continuing to develop, before emerging when it actually looks like a baby koala.
Those six months are the most precarious of the infant’s life (Zoo Miami lost several joeys during this period in the past) so it is not until it finally emerges from the pouch and is strong and healthy that zoo staff can breathe a sigh of relief and truly celebrate!!!
Hope is the first baby for four-year-old mum Rinny, who has been living at Zoo Miami since September 2018, and eight-year-old dad Milo, who has been in the care of the zoo since 2016.
Zoo Miami named the joey Hope in response to the devastation caused by the ongoing bushfire crisis in Australia.
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