FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2013
CONTACT: SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL PUBLIC RELATIONS
PHOTO NEWS RELEASE
San Diego Zoo’s Newest Koalas Examined by Veterinary Staff
Kirstin Clapham, senior hospital keeper, carries a female Queensland koala into an exam room at the Jennings Center for Zoological Medicine at the San Diego Zoo. The koala, named Beejay, is one of three koalas who arrived in February from Dreamworld in Australia to join the Zoo’s breeding colony.
Beejay and the two males, Simba and Bradlee, received their initial veterinary exams today that included overall body measurements, ear and eye exams, assessment of their teeth and radiographs of their hips and shoulders to check the health of their bones. Vets also took blood from the koalas to assess general health and and test for the presence the B-variant of the koala retrovirus. Tissue swabs were collected to test for the presence of chlamydia.
The koalas will remain in quarantine for at least 30 days before they join the larger colony of koalas at the San Diego Zoo. Beejay will be housed with other female koalas and the male koalas, Simba and Bradlee, will have their own separate enclosures. Koalas are solitary creatures and typically only come together for breeding.
The Conrad Prebys Australian Outback exhibit, opening at the Zoo Memorial Day weekend, will be the new home for all of the Zoo’s koalas. The Australian Outback exhibit will also feature other marsupial species from Australia including wallabies and wombats and an egg-laying mammal, the short-beaked echidna. Australian Outback will also have aviaries of native Australian birds, like the kookaburra and bowerbird. For more about Australian Outback, visit www.sandiegozoo.org/koalafornia/exhibit
The San Diego Zoo has the largest breeding colony of Queensland koalas and the most successful koala breeding program outside of Australia. Researchers at the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research are studying koala populations both at the Zoo and in the wild to better understand the species complex ecology, mating behaviors and health. The information gleaned from this work will help further develop conservation strategies for koalas. San Diego Zoo Global is also partnering with the Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation in Australia to educate people about the threats facing native koala populations.Photo taken on March 6 2013, by Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo.
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