Tampa’s newest furry resident has officially fully emerged from its mother’s pouch at ZooTampa at Lowry Park allowing the Zoo’s veterinary staff to conduct a health checkup and identify its gender and… it’s a boy! The healthy baby koala, known as a joey is the first koala born at the Zoo. Once an embryo the size of a jellybean, the joey has spent the last seven months in mom Ceduna’s pouch with dad Heathcliff nearby. The joey has been named Sydney by Rod & Kim Stohler and family, following their generous donation at the Zoo’s annual Karamu fundraising gala.
ZooTampa is the only zoological facility on the west coast of Florida to care for koalas. The marsupial family is part of the Zoo’s effort to conserve koalas through the Species Survival Plan (SSP) of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Guests can catch a glimpse of Ceduna practicing her yoga poses while Sydney clings to her back or belly. Sydney will stay close to mom until he reaches one year of age and can begin climbing trees on his own.
In conjunction with the new joey, ZooTampa is opening a new playground structure, Koala Klubhouse, ideal for little children to climb and enjoy while visiting the Wallaroo section of the zoo.
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