The first known baby koala since the Australian wildfires has been born in a zoo

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Our very first koala of the season has popped out of Mums pouch to say hello! 🐨 Keepers have decided to name her Ash! Ash is the first koala born at the park since the tragic Australian bushfires and is a sign of hope for the future of Australia’s native wildlife. . . . . . . . . . . #thisiscentralcoast #australia #sydneyactivities #fun #thingstodoinsydney #sydney #centralcoast #viral #cute #cuteanimals #newsouthwales #selfisolation #stayhome #animalfriends #australiananimal #koala #elsathekoala #cutekoalas #seeaustralia @australia #koala #koalajoey

A post shared by Australian Reptile Park (@australianreptilepark) on May 26, 2020 at 2:00pm PDT

Koalas are not functionally extinct, although their population has rapidly declined in recent decades; these numbers have gotten worse as wildfires have ravaged the continent of Australia. The International Fund for Animal Welfare and Biolink research group place the koala casualties around 5,000, or 12 percent of their population, since the wildfires began; less conservative estimates place the casualty rate around 30 percent.

But there is a glimmer of hope: for the first time since the wildfires, a baby koala has been seen emerging from a pouch. Baby Ash was born at the Australian Reptile Park, and is believed to be about 5 months old. "Ash represents the start of what we’re hoping to be another successful breeding season," Zookeeper Dan Rumsey told Buzzfeed News. "It was such an incredible moment when we saw Ash poke her head out of her mum’s pouch for the first time!" Read the rest

"Animals" escaping from Japanese zoos part of unintentionally funny drills

Every year in Japan, animals escape from zoos in a planned exercise. Except they aren't really animals, they're humans in animal costumes. And they aren't really escaping, they're part of an annual drill to train staff on what to do when a real animal does. While funny to watch, escaped animals are no joke in a country known for earthquakes.

Director of Tama Zoological Park, Yutaka Fukuda, told Metro in 2015:

‘In the event of a big earthquake, a tree could fall on a cage, or many other things could occur that may lead to an animal escape.

‘We think it is very important, and it is our responsibility to carry it out with seriousness.’

Look for the real lions, their reactions to the drill are priceless.

Thanks, Julie!

screenshot via The Guardian Read the rest

This baby rhino trying to play with its mom is the purest thing you'll see all week

When was the last time your eyeballs feasted on something that wasn't a part of the dumpster fire we call a news cycle? It's been a while for me and I'm betting the same can be said for you too. Here: get a load of this greater one-horned rhino calf pestering its mother to play with him. There is running. There are head butts. There is so much joy here that you won't know what to do with yourself. Read the rest

Zoo cheetahs chase balls launched from "cheetahpult"

Cheetahs in captivity still want to run and chase things, so the caretakers at Oregon Zoo made a custom-built a catapult that launches balls from one end of the cheetah habitat to the other. The cheetahs get a treat when they fetch a ball. Read the rest

Hippo gets a pumpkin for a Halloween treat

Everyone loves Halloween, including the hippos at the Cincinnati Zoo, because they get to chomp down on delicious pumpkins. Read the rest