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Koala Joey makes official public debut at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo

29 Oct 2015 13:19:43

Koala Joey makes official public debut at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo

Today, keepers at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo celebrated a brand new name for its youngest koala joey - Banjo - as the fluffy male made his official public debut in the attraction's Koala Encounters exhibit.

A big day for the youngster, Banjo also underwent a thorough health check-up including a weigh-in and chest examination with the help of expert keepers and veterinary staff before being given a big thumbs up to join his furry friends in his new exhibit.

Banjo showed his inquisitive nature as he climbed on his new perches and interacted with keepers, but mum Erica still made sure he was within paws reach for his first independent venture.

"Our youngest koala joey Banjo passed today's health check with flying colours! Currently weighing in at 1.8 kilograms, the nine-month old joey has almost quadrupled in size since his birth, which is optimum for his age," said Caroline Monro, Senior Keeper at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo.

"Banjo is meeting all his developmental milestones, and like most koalas, loves a good nibble on eucalyptus leaves and getting plenty of shut-eye. We're thrilled to see him officially graduate from our Koala Nursery to our Koala Encounters exhibit," continued Monro.

Last month, the public voted on what name to call the little joey. Named after the Australian bush poet Banjo Paterson, Banjo was the clear favourite, with Bluey coming in a close second.

Born as part of WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo's dedicated koala breeding program, Banjo serves as the attraction's youngest koala ambassador, helping further educate the public on the need to protect the Australian-native species which is currently listed as vulnerable in the wild. Through daily education talks and the attraction's Koala Encounter experience, visitors can get up close and personal with the iconic marsupial and learn about their important place in the ecosystem.

Earlier this year, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo announced a joint koala conservation initiative with its charity counterpart the WILD LIFE Conservation Fund, whereby all proceeds collected from donation tins on display in the attraction go towards koala research and protection measures to save them for extinction.

Visitors can also do their bit to help save the future of Australia's native animals by joining WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo's 'Adopt an Animal' program, whereby donations are used to fund projects which help protect and restore the population of Australia's threatened species and their habitats.

Featuring over 25 keeper talks and animal encounters, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo is the perfect place to get up close to Australia's most iconic animals. From meeting Ringo the wombat to cuddling up to koalas at Koala Encounters and not forgetting to bravely hold a python in Kangaroo Walk-About, there's so much to see and do. With interactive displays, captivating daily feeding sessions, enhanced walk-through habitats and the new WILD Flight and treetops experience, there's never been a better time to visit WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo.

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