A Koala joey and her mother have been taken in by staff at the Australian Reptile Park last week.
The joey, who has been named Elsa after the Disney Princess from the film Frozen, was rescued alongside her mother by Keepers in late September and made her debut to the public this October alongside the Park’s six other Koala joeys, dubbed the Lucky Seven.
Both mum and bub were found in a critical state due to illness in the mother impacting her ability to produce milk for the baby.
Both were brought in for emergency care and rehabilitation with the newborn currently in the company of Australian Reptile Park Curator and Koala carer, Hayley Shute.
Shute has been providing around-the-clock care for Elsa since she was rescued.
“Koala joeys require 24 hours of care, supervision and seven bottles of a special milk formula a day.
“I can’t tell you the last time I’ve had a proper night’s sleep,” Shute said.
“Elsa will feed from the bottle from the next six month or so until she becomes independent enough to eat eucalyptus leaves.
“Once she is strong enough, she will be reunited with her mum, Irene, and be introduced to our koala family here at the Australian Reptile Park,” said Shute.
Both Elsa and Irene are doing well and expected to make a full recovery.
“Elsa is a true sign of hope and will act as an ambassador for the koala who are in need of all the awareness they can get.
“At the current rate of decline, Koalas are on track to become completely extinct by 2050,” Shute said.
Koala numbers have plummeted by a third in the 20 years between 1990 and 2010 due to habitat destruction, deforestation, fragmentation, cars and dogs.
Media release, Oct 2
Amanda Woodbine, Australian Reptile Park