Today, The Australian Reptile Park took on the essential task of performing the first of what will become routine health checks for this season’s koala joeys. Of the nine born throughout the successful breeding season, the eldest three joeys being Ash, Anna and Twiggy, now reside together with their mums in the mums and bubs koala yard.
These koala joeys have now reached the curious age where they are starting to leave Mum’s side and explore on their own – which means Keepers need to ensure they are continuing to grow happy and healthy without being with their mum at every moment.
The routine health checks include a weigh in on a special branch so that keepers are able to monitor any changes and signs of bad health. After the koala joeys are weighed, keepers will look them over for any cuts, sores or other issues. Now that the trio are exploring without their Mums, it is important to ensure the joeys are learning the essential skills a koala needs and are safely jumping between trees and climbing without hurting themselves.
Thankfully, keepers are happy to report the three joeys passed their first health checks with flying colours. They were rewarded with the freshest eucalyptus leaves available and received snuggles from keepers right after.
Australian Reptile Park Director, Tim Faulkner, said, “It’s more important now than ever that our koalas are receiving the best care they can. Our koalas are a big part of our family here, and sadly after the devastating bushfires Australia faced, population numbers in the wild have drastically reduced.”
Tim Faulkner continued, “Koalas are one of Australia’s most iconic animals, and it’s up to us to ensure that they’re around for future generations to come. Thankfully, all of our nine joeys are growing up happy and healthy with their mums and will thrive under the care of our passionate koala keepers.”
Koala numbers have plummeted dramatically in the last 20 years due to habitat destruction, deforestation, fragmentation, car strikes and dog attacks. Due to the recent devastating bushfires that ravaged Australia, the numbers are incredibly low. The June 2020 New South Wales Parliamentary inquiry found that habitat loss remains as the biggest threat to the species’ survival.
The Australian Reptile Park’s koala joeys, including Ash, Anna and Twiggy, are on display in the koala yards with their mums and love seeing visitors each and every day. The Central Coast wildlife sanctuary has a population of over 40 koalas and continues to expand each year with their successful breeding program. They will not stop until more is done to protect the iconic species.