The first ever southern koala born in Europe has been named 'Hazel' following a public vote.
In February this year, it was announced that mum Violet gave birth to the baby southern koala at Wiltshire’s Longleat Safari and Wildlife Park in the UK.
The SA Government and Cleland Wildlife Park have been working with the facility to grow their population of healthy koalas.
Koala Life Chair Professor Chris Daniels said the joey represents the culmination of a fantastic partnership to understand and protect koalas.
“Hazel’s birth is a small, but vital step in the process to secure the long-term survival of the koala,” Professor Daniels said.
“This successful effort will help Longleat and Koala Life to better develop and understand captive breeding methodology and animal husbandry.
“Longleat now has a small but vital group of healthy animals free of debilitating diseases including chlamydia.
“The continued growth of the colony will help us understand how to keep sanctuary populations heathy and provide important information about the effects of these diseases.”
To keep up with Hazel as she grows up, visit the Longleat website.
Visit koalalife.asn.au to find out more.
Photo of the world's first European koala joey, Hazel, with mum Violet, supplied Longleat, via Department for Environment and Water SA