Saturday, 21 September 2013

Edinburgh Zoo has first UK koala birth

Keepers at Edinburgh zoo have revealed they have succeeded in achieving the first koala birth in the UK.

Their female koala, Alinga, is carrying a joey in its pouch after giving birth early in the summer.

The new arrival can be seen wriggling around in the pouch and is expected to poke its head out for the first time in the next 6 weeks.

Meanwhile, the zoo said it was still optimistic its female panda could give birth within the next week.

Donald Gow, senior keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, says: "We are all immensely excited by the birth of the UK's first ever koala joey.

"I have worked with the zoo's koalas for the past eight years and they require a lot of specialised care.

"Koalas are very sensitive creatures with a very selective diet and the husbandry can be extremely challenging."

He added: "As they are solitary animals, it takes an expert eye to know how to successfully introduce a male and female together for breeding.

"There is a lot of dedication and skill involved in caring for koalas, and it is a significant achievement for everybody involved."

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