Mon, Oct 24, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Taipei Zoo welcomes four new koalas from Australia

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

Veterinarians scan a microchip implanted in the koala Empress yesterday at the Taipei City Zoo.

Photo provided courtesy of Taipei City Zoo

Four koalas arrived at Taipei Zoo from Australia yesterday morning and are scheduled to meet the public on Nov. 6 after their quarantine period is over, the zoo said yesterday.

The four koalas, three females and one male, were brought in from Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

Taipei Zoo director Jason Chin (金仕謙) and the sanctuary’s veterinarian, Camile Alexandra, introduced the four koalas at a press conference, showing videos of Flynn, Empress, Tiwi and Coral.

According to Alexandra, the four koalas have adapted well to their new environment, with the male koala Flynn climbing up a tree soon as soon as they arrived.

Chin said the arrival of the four koalas marked the first time in years that the sanctuary has agreed to send koalas to another country.

The zoo expects the female -koalas to enter their first estrus period in March or April, Chin said.

“Hopefully our four new friends will join the other koalas soon after quarantine and help add baby koalas to the zoo,” he said.

The zoo currently has four koalas, including the 14-year-old Patrick, one of the first koalas sent to the zoo, 11-year-old Pearl and Patrick’s two sons, Q-bi and Q-di.

Chin said the zoo first introduced koala in 1999, and the first two koalas, Harley and Patrick, were an instant hit with visitors.

The zoo introduced more koalas in 2001 and 2004.

Harley and three female koalas have died from cancer over the years and the zoo has been seeking to bring in more female koalas ever since, he said.

The zoo said the four new koalas have been through a 45-day quarantine period and will go through another 14-day quarantine at the zoo before making a public appearance.

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