San Diego, California - Less than a year old and barely out of each mother's pouch, two young joeys visited the San Diego Zoo veterinary hospital today for their first routine medical exam. The two youngsters, named Thackary and Milo, were born last year in the Zoo's koala colony. Both babies are doing fine and received clean bills of health.
"Here at the San Diego Zoo we have seen instances of hip dysplasia in koalas," said Geoff Pye, D.V.M, veterinarian at the San Diego Zoo. "We try to do exams on koala youngsters at an early age so we can watch and ensure that they do not have problems as they get older."
The San Diego Zoo's koala colony is the largest group of this species outside of Australia. They are currently not available for guest viewing due to construction of the Zoo's newest koala habitat, the Conrad Prebys Australian Outback, scheduled to open in spring 2013. The Australian Outback will immerse both koalas and guests in a eucalyptus forest surrounding a classic Aussie Queenslander-style house that will serve as a care center. People can find out more about the project or help support it by visiting www.sandiegozoo.org/koalas.
The San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy is dedicated to bringing endangered species back from the brink of extinction. The work of the Conservancy includes onsite wildlife conservation efforts at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, and international field programs in more than 35 countries. In addition, San Diego Zoo Global manages the Anne and Kenneth Griffin Reptile Conservation Center, the Frozen ZooTM and Native Seed Gene Bank, the Keauhou and Maui Hawaii Endangered Bird Conservation Centers, San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike Breeding Facility, Cocha Cashu Biological Research Station, the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center, and a 800-acre biodiversity reserve adjacent to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The important conservation and science work of these entities is supported in part by The Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.