Two Queensland koala joeys were examined by keepers this morning at the San Diego Zoo as part of their regular weekly check-up. The 8-and-a-half-month male joeys, Coedie and Burra, and their mothers were brought down from the perching structure in their exhibit and placed onto a scale by animal care staff for their weigh-in.
Keepers first weighed mother Cambee with her joey, Coedie, to get their combined weight, and then Cambee was weighed separately to calculate the joey’s weight. The same process was repeated with Burra and his mother, Tonahleah, to calculate their weights. Keepers held the young joeys while the mothers were being weighed so the youngsters weren’t stressed during the brief separation.
Keepers reported that both joeys are right on track with their development. Coedie (meaning boy in the Aboriginal language) weighed 2 pounds and Burra (meaning big fella) weighed 2.49 pounds.
“We weigh all of our koalas weekly, not just Mom and joeys,” senior keeper Katie Tomlinson said. “It’s just to make sure they’re healthy, they’re growing like they should, and it’s a good opportunity for us to get a nice up-close look at them,” Tomlinson said.
The San Diego Zoo has the largest breeding colony of Queensland koalas and the most successful koala breeding program outside of Australia. Researchers at the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research are studying koala populations both at the Zoo and in the wild to better understand the species’ complex ecology, mating behaviors and health. The information gleaned from this work will help further develop conservation strategies for koalas. San Diego Zoo Global is also partnering with the Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation in Australia to educate people about the threats facing native koala populations.
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