02 Mar, 2012 01:00 AM
HALLS GAP – Halls Gap Zoo has welcomed three of Australia’s most iconic national animal.
A family of Koalas arrived at the beginning of February from the Healesville Sanctuary.
A male, female and their joey have joined the zoo, bringing the total number of koalas to four.
The mother and joey have been bonding in a separate enclosure, which was completed in preparation for the arrival.
Halls Gap Zoo owner Yvonne Culell said all the new animals had settled in fine.
“The joey is about half grown, it is nine months old so not too young, and the mum is four and the male is three,” she said.
“They are all eating well and have well and truly settled into their new home.
It is the first time the zoo has had a baby koala and Ms Culell said keepers were allowing the mother to do most of the caring, while being closely monitored.
With two females and a male now permanently based in Halls Gap the opportunity to breed at the zoo could come to fruition.
“It would be really good if we could get them to breed,” Ms Cullel said.
“They are pretty popular here. We had some international visitors recently asking about our koalas and they were pretty excited when they found out we had just receive three.”
Ms Cullel said the native animal was popular with both international and Australian tourists, however looking after them was a big task.
“They are very particular in their eating habits, so the keepers have to pick three different variety of gum leaves each day and they have to have a fresh tip on them,” she said.
“It is just great to have more of them here though, our native animals are some of our biggest attractions.”