IT can be a bit overwhelming for a one-year-old koala who is now getting a taste of the world without mum.
Luca has recently been weaned and moved to “koala creche” at Taronga Zoo, where he needed a bit of a snuggle. But, without mum, he chose to cuddle on to the back of two-year-old Ash.
Ash is like a trusted big brother to Luca and Pepper, another recently weaned one-year-old male, a zoo spokeswoman said.
“Ash is a very tolerant two-year-old male, a great role model for the one-year-olds,” the spokeswoman said.
“Normally the males are seen sitting side by side or in close proximity, but for whatever reason on this particular day, Luca wanted to get a bit closer.
“It’s certainly unusual to see two male koalas like this, it’s usually a behaviour associated with a mother and her joey, however given that Luca is only young and recently weaned from his mother, Luca appears to be using Ash as a surrogate mother.”
Male koalas become fully grown around three to four and in the future Luca, Ash and Pepper will be paired with a female group.