A southern koala has been born in Europe for the first time in a majormilestone for UK’s Longleat Safari Park’s koala colony.

The joey, which hasn’t been named yet, was birthed by Violet who came toLongleat, along with a few other koalas, in 2018 as part of a conservationprogram made in with Australian not-for-profit Koala Life.

Lord Bath, patron of Koala Life, said the arrival of the joey is a huge eventfor the entire team and something they have been working towards since thefacility launched three years ago.

“We are still not fully sure on the sex of the joey but hope to get a betteridea when it starts to spend more time outside of the pouch. Currently we wantto leave them alone as much as possible.”

The joey was born six months ago, however spent the first part of its lifeinside its mother’s pouch and is only now beginning to venture out.

James Dennis, keeper at Longleat, said it has been a long and complicatedprocess, but an important one.

“As well as helping to raise awareness of the southern koala and the threatsit faces in the wild, it is also teaching us so much about the species’complex lifecycle.

“One of the most concerning issues with regard to southern koalas in Australiais the high levels of inbreeding and so the fact we are able to beginestablishing a genetically diverse population here in Europe is also reallyimportant.”

Tagged: Koala, Koala Life, Longleat

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