The Australian Reptile Park are thrilled to announce that Elsa the koala, the world’s most famous koala, has had her first joey and has been aptly named Olaf! The fluffy bundle of joy was the first to emerge from the pouch for this year’s koala breeding season at the Australian Reptile Park.
Elsa the koala melted hearts all over the world back in 2019 when she first made her debut into the world. In a tough start to life, Elsa was hand-raised by Keeper Hayley after requiring keeper intervention to ensure she was going to survive as Elsa’s mother Irene was unable to produce milk. Thankfully, both are happy and healthy koalas and Irene has since gone on to have Elsa’s little sister, Anna! It didn’t take long for Elsa’s popularity to reach new heights with several videos of the fluffy koala going viral with the clips being seen over 15 million times.
Keeper Hayley Shute, Elsa’s adoptive mum and resident koala whisperer, said “It melts my heart to see Elsa thriving, considering the first time we met she was at risk of not making it. I look at her happy and healthy and now with her baby boy Olaf and I get a bit emotional that she’s growing up!
“When I first brought her home as a tiny joey, my kids were obsessed with the movie FrozenTM and they decided to call her Elsa. When we discovered that Elsa had had a boy, they begged me to call him Olaf, after the cute snowman companion,” said Ms. Shute.
Ms. Shute continued, “Elsa has spread so much joy to everyone all over the world but most importantly, has raised awareness for koalas as a species in peril that needs our help now more than ever. Koalas are estimated to be extinct by 2050 and we need all of the help we can get protecting these amazing animals. We know Elsa has made an impact on people and we love sharing her story with the world.”
Elsa the koala currently resides in one of the many koala yards at the Australian Reptile Park and is frequently spotted by visitors front and centre, either enjoying a deep sleep or eating some fresh leaves for lunch. Visitors will now be able to see Elsa and Olaf cuddling in the koala habitat. Visitors have travelled from far and wide to personally meet Elsa the koala themselves and can now look forward to seeing her son, Olaf as well.
Proud of being an active supporter of wildlife conservation, the Australian Reptile Park continues to breed koalas in an effort to help boost population numbers for the endangered species. The program also seeks to educate Australians about koalas and with this years’ breeding season seeing more joeys born into the program, staff hopes the additional joeys and heightened awareness helps protect the species from extinction.
The Australian Reptile Park is accepting the Parents NSW vouchers and the Spring school holidays is the perfect opportunity to use the vouchers provided by the NSW Government through Service NSW with the promotion finishing on 9 October 2022. For those looking for an extra special experience, animal encounters can be booked with Tasmanian devil joeys, koalas, baby Komodo dragons and more! For more information on these amazing behind-the-scenes tours, head to www.reptilepark.com.au