The first koala joey of the breeding season in 2020, “Ash” – captured hearts all over the world after becoming the first sign of hope for koalas after the devastating fires that impacted Australia in 2019-2020. Frankie the kangaroo joey has been making headlines recently as her story of recovery had people fall in love with her. In a surprising turn of events, the duo has been spending lots of time together and have become best friends.
Frankie the kangaroo joey, as part of her rehabilitation and introduction to being around her family again, has started spending time in the enclosed koala yards. Keepers can keep a watchful eye on her feet sucking condition as well as monitor her whilst they work around the koalas. It was decided it was best for Frankie to go in with the young koala joeys as she learns to hop and bounce and meet other animals safely. The yard is referred to by keepers as the ‘preschool yard’ and is home to all the koala joeys under one year of age.
One afternoon, keeper Hewin Hochkins spotted Ash the koala gently climbing down from her perch full of fresh eucalyptus leaves and decided to introduce herself to Frankie. Frankie sat quietly in her soft bed eating her own lunch when Ash slowly approached, coming over to sniff Frankie and learn about what a kangaroo is! Ash ended up sitting with Frankie for quite some time, the two sitting peacefully together enjoying each other’s company.
Now, weeks later, the first thing Ash does as soon as Frankie gets brought down for the day is emerge from wherever she may be and come over to say good morning to Frankie. It’s something keepers have never seen before, but it might just be the cutest thing in the world!
Hewin Hochkins said of seeing the unlikely friendship, “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing the first time, but now it’s just part of the daily ritual to watch Ash and Frankie spend quality time together. It’s not every day you get to see a kangaroo and koala become best friends – but apparently you can here!”
Hewin continued, “Ash and Frankie are growing into such beautiful girls with amazing personalities and both love meeting people. Frankie’s feet are improving each day and thanks to Ash, she is seen hopping more around the enclosure to get her exercise! As cute as it is, it’s also amazing to watch visitors and online fans fall in love with our two girls, they’re fantastic ambassadors for their species and help us educate people about the important need for wildlife conservation.”