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Phoenix Zoo welcomes 2 koalas

by Jennifer Thomas

azfamily.com

Posted on September 24, 2010 at 4:50 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 27 at 3:16 PM

PHOENIX -- Two cute, cuddly and furry koalas will be spending the winter at the Phoenix Zoo.

Two-year-old Sooky and her 4-year-old brother, Kobi, will call the zoo home for the next six months.

The koalas are on loan from the San Diego Zoo through the zoo's Koala Education and Conservation loan program.

"Sooky is very personable and Kobi is more shy and reserved," said Jennifer Roesler, senior koala keeper at the San Diego Zoo.

Roesler traveled with the koalas to the Valley and Phoenix zookeeper Amy Evans spent two weeks learning all about them. Roesler said Sooky and Kobi seem to be adjusting well.

The Phoenix Zoo has renovated an existing building on the Nina Mason Pulliam Children's Trail to house the koalas.

"We are very proud of the collaborative effort between the Phoenix Zoo, San Diego Zoo and Australian authorities," said Dan Subaitis, director of animal management for the Phoenix Zoo. "All of these organizations have come together to ensure that the care, comfort and creation of their first-class accommodations have been the number one priority."

Koalas are cute, but very finicky and only eat the tips of eucalyptus plants. The Phoenix Zoo has lined up a supply of eucalyptus that will be delivered twice a week from a grower in Tonopah.

Phoenix Zoo members can see the koalas Sept. 25-26 then Sooky and Kobi will be unveiled to the general public on Oct. 3.

For more information, visit www.phoenixzoo.org.

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