Koala Joeys Are Here!

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Burra and his mom, Tonahleah, get weighed.

Burra and his mom, Tonahleah, get weighed.

After months of anticipation, the two koala joeys are out of the pouch and on the move at the San Diego Zoo’s Australian Outback! Like typical young boys, they are eager to venture out from Mom and start exploring the outside world. Their mothers, Tonahleah and Cambee, don’t seem to mind the short breaks from carrying them around. Recently, Tonahleah was seen babysitting Cambee’s joey and had both joeys on her at once! They have also been seen a couple of times sitting with the wrong mom altogether, and we (the keepers) have had to give them a little assistance in getting them back to their rightful owner.

Both joeys are healthy and getting bigger by the day. The joeys were born only two days apart, but we are definitely observing their unique qualities and can tell them apart fairly easily. We are already starting to see traits of their little personalities forming, too.

Tonahleah’s joey now has a name: Burra, which means big fellow. Burra is a much darker gray and is quite a bit bigger than his best mate. He was born on August 3, 2013. As of today, he weighs 3.3 pounds (1.5 kilogram). Burra is rather curious and seems very relaxed and laid back for a koala. He is very patient and tolerant of us when we weigh him or handle him for check-ups.

Cambee’s joey now has a name, too: Coedie, which means boy. Coedie is a lighter gray with a very white bum and is a bit more on the petite side. He was born on August 1, 2013, and weighs 2.8 pounds today (1.3 kilograms). Coedie is good natured but a little more on the shy side.

Both joeys and their moms can be seen in the female koala enclosure that is closest to the koala building, visible to our Koala Cam. We have separated them from the rest of the group so that we can keep a closer eye on what everybody’s eating and making sure they get very good eucalyptus, suitable for nursing moms and growing babies. Both joeys have been observed eating little pieces of eucalyptus already.

Amy Alfrey is a senior keeper at the San Diego Zoo.