Recently, the L.A. Zoo unveiled its newest little Baby Koala. While this fuzzy little friend was actually born in April, at that time it was only three-fourths of an inch long and immediately climbed into mom’s pouch. Called a joey, this little boy or girl has been in the pouch ever since. That is, until last week! These are the first pics of the little guy out of the pouch with mom.
Between six and twelve months, little koalas are weaned from milk to eucalyptus as they stick their heads out of the pouch to eat partially digested leaves. After a year, the joey will leave the pouch for good.
Although they are often referred to as a “koala bear,” koalas belong to the marsupial family. Marsupials are mammals whose females typically rear their young in a pouch through early infancy. Other members of the marsupial family are kangaroos, wallabies, wallaroos, wombats and opossums.
Native to Australia, koalas have a very low metabolic rate requiring them to conserve energy and to sleep between 18 and 20 hours a day. They spend about three of their five active hours eating a diet that consists entirely of eucalyptus leaves. Koalas consume 2 ½ pounds of leaves per day and rarely drink water due to the moisture found in eucalyptus leaves.