MIAMI, Fla – For the first time in 28 years, a baby koala was born at Zoo Miami. It’s only the third time in the zoo’s history a surviving joey (baby koala) has been born at the zoo. Zoo officials said the birth of the joey couldn’t have come at a better time.
The catastrophic fires in Australia are estimated to have killed nearly half a billion animals, which includes thousands of koalas. It’s the reason zookeepers named the baby, Hope.
“It is our desire that this baby koala will help to bring a small ray of hope to all that are suffering in Australia and be a symbol for a positive future for the priceless wildlife that lives there,” Zoo Miami said in part on Facebook.
The joey’s mother is “Rinny,” which is short for “Merindah koolawong” which are the Dharug aboriginal words for “beautiful” and “koala.” She is 4-years-old and was born at the Riverbanks Zoo in South Carolina on October 21, 2015. She arrived at Zoo Miami on September 21, 2018, and this is her first baby.
The father is “Milo,” and he 8 years old and was born at the San Diego Zoo on July 2, 2011. He arrived at Zoo Miami on May 3, 2016. Hope is also his first baby.
Zoo officials are not sure of the joey’s sex yet because they haven’t got a good view. Zookeepers had told him that the joey had been peeking out, but hadn’t fully broken free.