One koala mom at the Sydney Zoo got an early Mother’s Day surprise when its baby joey left her pouch on May 7.
The 7-month-old joey belongs to Iluka, who the Wild Life Sydney Zoo said was born in 2015 and is the most energetic of their koalas.
“Mum is looking forward to spending some koala-ty time with her new little bub this Sunday for her first Mother’s Day,” the zoo said, according to Storyful, noting that Iluka’s young one will become more independent over the coming months.
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The zoo also shared footage of the mommy marsupial with her adorable joey cozying up in a tree branch together.
The sight of Iluka enjoying time with her offspring is particularly warming, considering that koalas faced potential extinction following the devastating Australian bushfires from earlier this year.
A report from the International Fund for Animal Welfare indicated that over 6,000 koalas were estimated to have perished due to the “impacts of recent fire events on koalas in the context of broader population trends across New South Wales over the past three generations” of the animal.
The Australian Koala Foundation estimates that less than 100,000 koalas, and potentially as few as 43,000, are currently left in the wild.