White koala joey with mum Tia, Australia Zoo, Beerwah, Queensland
As if baby koalas weren’t cute enough, wait until you meet this little girl.
By Jessica Wilkinson
She was born to mum Tia, and dad Slater, in January and is now venturing out into the world from the safety of her mum’s pouch. She was one of 12 joeys born and is the only white one, making her quite unique.
The little pale joey is not strictly albino – if she was, her nose and eyes would be pink, but this, in fact, makes her even rarer. Australia Zoo says it would be less unusual to see an albino koala and the fact that this little girl’s eyes and nose are the usual brown/black while her fur is so light is very unusual.
Her pale colouration has been observed as a characteristic in her maternal bloodline. Tia (the mum), has had joeys previously which are paler in comparison however they’ve never seen a joey with such white fur as this.
The little joey is currently on display with her mother and some other mums and their joeys in the special ‘Mums and Bubs’ branches at the zoo. Joeys and mums can be viewed in their leafy enclosure, however, encounters aren’t available while the bubs find their way in the world. Koala encounters are available at Australia Zoo with mature koalas where you can cuddle or pat them.