COLUMBIA, N.C. -- A baby Koala born in October has finally emerged from its mother pouch at the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia.
A Koala joey spent nearly seven months inside his mother Lottie's pouch but recently fully emerged.
“Koala joeys start out about the size of a jelly bean and will on average spend six to seven months nursing and developing in their mother’s pouch before they are ready to begin exploring the outside world – typically one limb at a time or by poking their head out on occasion,” said John Davis, curator of mammals at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden.
Joeys typically remain close to their mothers after emerging and then after about one year they mature enough to be fully weaned. It's the fourth baby for father Jimmie and the sixth for Lottie. Jimmie came from the Los Angeles Zoo to South Carolina in 2008, while Lottie has bee at Riverbanks since October of 2003.
A fundraiser will be held to bid on naming the baby Koala. The ZOOfari fundraiser and silent auction takes place September 28. More details can be found at riverbanks.org.